Jessie H. Bancroft

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Jessie Hubbell Bancroft (1867-1952) was an American educator, a pioneer of physical education[1] and a founder and a president of the American Posture League.[1][2]

She was born in Winona, Minnesota and was exposed to the Delsarte System of Physical Culture while studying at Winona Normal School.[1]

During 1893-1903 she was Director of Physical Training of the Brooklyn Schools and since 1904 until retirement in 1928 she was Assistant Director of Physical Education of the schools of Greater New York City.[1]

She was an author of many professional publications on posture, including her insightful 1913 book, The Posture of School Children, as well as other literature on physical education.[1]

In addition to founding of the APL, she was a founder of the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education and the only woman to serve as its secretary (1902-1903).[1]

She was the first living person to receive the Luther Halsey Guliek Award for advances in physical education (1924). She was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science [1]


  • 1916: (with William Dean Pulvermacher) Handbook of Athletic Games: For Players, Instructors, and Spectators, Comprising Fifteen Major Ball Games, Track and Field Athletics and Rowing Races
  • 1913: The Posture of School Children
  • 1909: Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium
    • 1942: Revised and expanded edition, Macmillan Company
  • 1909: School Gymnastics with Light Apparatus
    • 1915: Gimnasia escolar sin aparatos, Spanish translation
  • 1896: School Gymnastics, Free Hand: A System of Physical Exercises for Schools


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ruth Evans "Jessie H. Bancroft", Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Volume 31, Issue 4, 1960, doi:10.1080/00221473.1960.10611249
  2. ^ George J. Fisher, "The American Posture League", The Journal of Health and Physical Education, Volume 6, Issue 8, 1935, doi:10.1080/23267240.1935.10625699

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