About This Site
The primary purpose of this site is to provide a repository for information about memorabilia connected to the woman suffrage movement in both England and America. Subjects discussed here will include woman suffrage buttons, suffrage ribbons, suffrage sashes, suffrage advertising cards, suffrage jewelry, suffrage sheet music, suffrage postcards, Cinderella stamps and other aspects of suffrage ephemera. The focus is not on pamphlets and autograph material, although articles about these types of items do appear on occasion. I will also be using this site to promote my book Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study that was published on June 5, 2013 and is available through Amazon.com and through the publisher, McFarland Books.
This site will include short articles about various items of suffrage memorabilia, generally with images.
While suffrage scholars have long recognized the importance of memorabilia to the movement, it is a subject that has not been explored extensively apart from a few restricted, albeit excellent, studies. Part of the problem is that such objects are often scattered about; therefore, any comprehensive collection is difficult to both find and access, although museums both in America and England do have impressive holdings in some areas. Another problem is that most scholars do not have ready knowledge of the general nature and history of the type of objects (post cards, badges, sheet music, etc.) that suffragists produced. There is a direct correlation between the growth and development of many of these various types and their exploitation by the movement. This site and my book are both designed to respond to these problems.
Please feel free to comment on this site and to ask questions and submit articles or notes on suffrage artifacts. I would like to make this page as interactive as possible. As this site develops, I may include a page whereby readers can offer period suffrage artifacts for sale.
My new book on American Woman suffrage postcards published by McFarland Books is now available as of July 27, 2015. You may order it directly from the publisher or through Amazon (click on the Amazon link).
The study, divided into sections, discusses six types of suffrage cards, official, Real Photo, printed photo, holiday, commercial cards, and commercial sets and provides examples. Each section is accompanied by a catalog of cards that relate to that category. There are 720 cards illustrated in full color and culled from some of the top collections in this country. Among the cards included are those picturing the Grand Marshal of the 1913 Inaugural rally who later murdered her husband’s second wife, the set of suffrage postcards that was used as evidence before a Congressional investigative committee on lack of police protection for marchers in that same rally, the attempt of the Ku Klux Klan to ridicule the movement, the battle between pro and anti forces to control the images and arguments of the debate, and many more.
The title of my first book on woman suffrage artifacts has received mention from the New York Times (click link to see article) is Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study. It is currently available from Amazon and through my publisher, McFarland Books.
This work, while it is aimed for the general audience, particularly those who are interested in Women’s History, also addresses the needs of interested historians and collectors by discussing approximately seventy different categories of suffrage memorabilia, providing numerous images of relevant objects along the way. It also deals with innovative production methods involved in the creation of those artifacts, and how they dovetailed with the needs of suffragists. More importantly, in an effort to develop a broader understanding of the suffrage movement, this study analyzes period accounts, often quite fascinating, of how, why, when, and where that memorabilia was used in both America and England. These accounts at times, are simply amusing, but at others involve beatings, hunger strikes, and imprisonment. Index and bibliography. The book contains over 215 images, including 16 pages in full color, of such artifacts as suffrage buttons, suffrage ribbons, sashes, sheet music, suffrage post cards, jewelry, Valentines, advertising cards, and Cinderella stamps. It also discusses official suffrage colors, suffrage shops where memorabilia was sold, and the presidential candidacies of both Belva Lockwood, who was the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court, and Victoria Woodhull, who was for a time a notorious advocate for free love. If you are interested in purchasing this book, click on this link to the publisher, McFarland Books, or to Amazon.com.
Library Journal: “An Impressive scholarly synthesis for women’s history and collectibles collections.” October 15, 2013
Political Collector: “Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia is a well-written historical narration that compelled my attention, held my interest and for me it is a work to be read and reread. It fills a significant gap in my library.” August 2013