Rutherford County Historical Society marks Doncaster’s 85th anniversary with program on Nov. 15

Published 7:53 pm Monday, November 14, 2016

Exceptional quality and classic style have been hallmarks of Doncaster clothing since the company was founded in 1931 by Simpson Bobo Tanner, II, and his wife Millie Tanner in Rutherfordton, N.C. Millions of dresses, suits, blouses, slacks, coats, scarves, and eveningwear bearing Doncaster or Tanner labels have been worn by discerning women all over the nation since that time.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., the Rutherford County Historical Society will present a program on Doncaster’s history at St. John’s Historic Church (society headquarters) located at 316 N. Main Street, Rutherfordton. There is no charge for the event and the public is invited.

Dozens of vintage Doncaster and Tanner garments will be on display. More than 100 sketches and historic photos from the Doncaster and Tanner archives, and private collections, will be featured in a Powerpoint presentation. A limited edition portfolio showcasing the firm’s history will be available for a donation to the Rutherford County Historical Society.

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Doncaster was originally founded as a manufacturer of men’s shirts and collars. An interesting twist of fate saw the company begin manufacturing women’s clothing in 1933, and transition entirely to female attire in the early 1950s. The Tanner label was also introduced in the 1950s. Until the 1990s the majority of the clothing produced by both companies was manufactured in Rutherfordton, by hundreds of employees living principally in Rutherford and Polk counties.

11-15doncaster1webDoncaster and Tanner companies are among the oldest and respected names in the garment industry. Fashions designed by the companies have been featured on the pages of some of America’s leading fashion and news magazines including Vogue, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker, and Women’s Wear Weekly.

“The Doncaster and Tanner companies are a significant part of our local history,” says Robin S. Lattimore, Rutherford County Historical Society president. “We are very proud to celebrate that history and to mark Doncaster’s 85th anniversary.”

For more information contact Lattimore at or 828-447-1474.


-Submitted by Lesley Bush