Author Page

 

 

 

 Available from McFarland Books

Kenneth Florey–About Me

My Academic Background    From 1970 to 2009, I was a member of the English Department at Southern Connecticut State University, and I retired with the rank of Full Professor.  I served for ten years as department chair, five years as its coordinator of graduate studies, and two years as chair of the university’s Graduate Council. My academic specialties included History of the English Language, African American Literature, and Greek Mythology.

 

Collector of Woman Suffrage Artifacts and Memorabilia    For the past thirty-five years, I have been an avid collector of suffrage memorabilia and have amassed one of the best accumulations of such material in America.  The collection contains significant holdings in such areas as post cards, buttons, sheet music, posters, ceramics, advertising cards, and ribbons. Some of my material was recently on display at the New Haven Museum (formerly the New Haven Historical Society).  My collection provided a significant bulk of the illustrated material in the 144-page special suffrage issue of the APIC Keynoter(a collectors’ publication), and selected examples from it also have been photographed for the Maine Antique Digest.  I was invited to speak about suffrage artifacts several years ago on a FOX network cable show, “Personal F/X.” I have also served as a non-paid consultant on occasion for the memorabilia portion of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust, headed by Coline Jenkins, great-great granddaughter of Stanton, and have, at various times, answered questions from representatives for PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations) shows such as “History Detectives” about suffrage memorabilia.  Years ago, several items from my collection were photographed by Playboy for an article on the suffrage movement at a time when the magazine was attempting, quite unsuccessfully it turns out, to appear as a friend and supporter of the feminist movement. I also have served as a Vice President and Board Member of both the Ephemera Society of America and the American Political Items Collectors.

Auction Appraiser and Cataloguer  I was the appraiser and main cataloguer of the Frank Corbeil collection of suffrage memorabilia that appeared in a series of auctions conducted by the Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, specializing in books, manuscripts, rare coins, and historical artifacts. The Corbeil collection was the most extensive gathering of suffrage memorabilia ever to be sold, and it ran in seven auctions from February 27, 2007 to May 22, 2010.

Presentations and Articles I have delivered several papers about suffrage memorabilia at scholarly conferences, including one on  the subject of American and British movement post cards for “Suffrage City! Women’s Suffrage and Cultural Representation” held in November 2000 at the University of Wolverhampton in England. I have written articles on suffrage post cards, memorabilia, jewelry, buttons, sheet music, and the suffrage Clarion image for such diverse publications as A.B. Bookman (a trade journal for book and manuscript dealers), the APIC Keynoter, the Bandwagon (a paper for collectors of political Americana), the Postcard Magazine and Collector (English), the Ephemera News (the journal of the American Ephemera Society), and the Clarion (a newsletter for collectors of woman suffrage).  My article. about myths surrounding suffrage jewelry was published by the Maine Antique Digest and has since been reprinted and placed on-line, with a manufacturer that reproduces suffrage artifacts for the British Museum, quoting selections from it for internet advertisements.  My focus has always been to address the topic of suffrage memorabilia as one that enhances our understanding of the movement and is, therefore, a legitimate subject for serious inquiry. My next project, in conjunction with my wife, will be on the post cards of the suffrage movement.

If you have any questions or comments to make about any aspect of this site including the items that appear on it, please feel free to use the contact form that appears at the bottom of each page, or contact me directly by clicking on this email link Ken Florey.

26 thoughts on “Author Page

  1. Bren, I agree. I’m posting an image of a few period magazine covers dealing with suffrage issues. They really give us, I think, a wonderful period delineation of how suffrage was seen in terms of popular culture.

  2. Thank you very much for the compliment. Your own book, “Selling Suffrage–Consumer Culture & Votes for Women,” is an essential work for anyone studying suffrage memorabilia, dealing as it does with the way activists were able to “market” the movement in terms of the evolving consumer oriented society.

  3. I was so excited to read about your upcoming book. My grandmother was the only NC delegate at the 1913 Washington, DC Suffragette parade the day before Wilson’s inauguration. We have her sash, buttons, and numerous correspondences between Washington officers as well as NC senators requesting their support. Finally a book to help identify items. Thank you!

    • It was exciting hear about your grandmother’s involvement in the NC movement. If the book does not answer all of your questions, please be sure to get in touch. The correspondence that you have sounds exceptional!

  4. I obtained a, “National Woman Suffrage Convention 1912″, sterling silver spoon a few years ago and I am wondering if you may be able to tell me more about it. Obviously I am aware that this item is rather rare but I am curious as to how rare. As to whether or not I would be interested in selling this article, that’s difficult to determine, Right now I would simply like to learn more about it. Any information you might be able to provide me with would be much appreciated.

    • Brian, check my last comment. While the spoon is scarce, it is not unique, and several have turned up recently. Several years ago, I appraised this piece for $500-800 for Heritage Auctions of Dallas. Today, I would revise the figure to $250-350. Hope this helps.

  5. Dr. Florey

    I am a PhD student in history at American University in Washington, D.C., soon to finish coursework and begin the research and writing of my dissertation, which involves the women’s suffrage movement in New York, 1890-1920.

    I am enjoying your site but find it frustrating that authentication is provided every time I try to open one of your files. Is that your intention? If so, please let me know where to sign in.

    Best in suffrage,

    Johanna

    • Thanks for your comment. The authentication box came up suddenly, and I don’t know what the cause is. I did not change the settings on the site to cause it to appear. It’s meaningless, anyway, because you can get into the site without having to put in any sort of code. I’ve been trying to find out how to remove it, but so far no luck.

  6. Good afternoon, I acquired a early Women’s Suffrage Movement Tapestry/needlepoint, it seems to be a early” template” that one could stich/needlepoint the pattern. It shows a lady draped in the American flag, also she hold a flag with the letters” WSP” and the words “Votes For Women” it has the colors associated with the Women’s Suffrage Movement and also in the background a “rising gleaming sun” It does show age. It measures roughly 19″ by 19″ Have you by chance something like I just described? Thank you, Kelly Davis

    • There were embroidered handkerchiefs from the suffrage period, although I am not familiar with the variety that you describe. The initials “WSP” stand for the Woman Suffrage Party, which was organized by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1909 in New York. Her group was quite active in the 1915 campaign to turn New York State into a “suffrage state.” When you say the handkerchief is in the colors of the movement, what colors are you talking about? The color most closely identified with the WSP is yellow. Because of a disagreement with Alice Paul over tactics, Catt studiously avoided using the color purple in any capacity since that color was associated with her group. Silk suffrage handkerchiefs generally sell now in the $150-200 range, but the pictures that you sent me in a private email are wonderful, and your item, if period, should be worth considerably more.

  7. HI,

    I used to know some of the last surviving suffragettes in the UK and have an abiding interest in [UK] suffrage. Those final Suffragettes made me an Honorary Suffragette so I could be come the treasurer of the Suffragette Fellowhip – the organisation founded after they got the vote. To hold office you had to be a member, to be a member of the Suffragette Fellowship you had to have been, or related to, a Suffragette. I was neitherr, hence the honorary status.

    My own collection includes books owned by the last Suffraggette (Mrs Victoria Lidiard), several period pamphlets, playing cards, cartoons (from Punch magazine) as well as a game of ‘Panko’ and I am currently buying an original purple,green and white Votes for Women sash.

    I think your new title is a must don’t you? Any news on when it is due to be published?

    Best wishes

    Amanda Rayner
    ‘The Last Suffragette’

    • Thank you for your post. There is no word from my publisher yet about a definite date for the release of my book. They are still telling me late Spring or early Summer. It will contain lengthy discussion about English suffrage memorabilia as well as American. The English were much better than we were in terms both of creating objects to offer to the public and of devising innovative ways in which to sell them.

      Your personal reflection is very interesting! You must have some fascinating stories to relate from and about the women of the Fellowship. I am delighted to see that you are still carrying on the tradition! You have some nice items assembled in your collection. Sashes are hard to come by, and I have always preferred English sashes to their American counterparts because of the stylized lettering that was used. Please keep in touch with us!

  8. What a wonderful site! I have a huge interest in all memorabilia concerned with the Suffrage movement, so your site is perfect for me! Thank you for all your hard work you put in!
    Marguerite

    • Marguerite–Thank you for your kind comments. Coming from you, a person who has enthusiastically devoted much of her time spreading news about both the suffrage movement as well as women’s issues in general, I am very flattered. For those of you who are reading this and are not familiar with Marguerite’s wonderfully informative suffrage website, the Woman Suffrage News Channel, I urge you to click on the link found at the bottom of the homepage of this site. You may also wish to subscribe to her frequent news updates and announcements at “The Suffrage Wagon.” For more information, please consult her site.

  9. Pingback: “Book” Review 3: A Woman and Her Sphere. Also Her Collectibles | JohannaWriter

    • Thank you for the nice write up. Very good picture of Elizabeth, whom I have not seen for a few years, although I correspond with her regularly.

  10. Dr. Florey,

    After much anticipation on my part, I have finally purchased a copy of your work on suffrage memorabilia and it is fantastic. Such a comprehensive survey of the material culture of the movement is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to better understand the movement.

    My current research as a graduate student at Binghamton University involves looking at suffrage cookbooks and other forms of domestic “advice” written by activists. If you have a few spare moments I would love to talk to you about your knowledge of these materials. I was not able to get the email feature of the website to function nor was I able to elsewhere determine a direct way to contact you; but if you are open to email exchange I can be found at jderlet1@binghamton.edu.

    Again, a fantastic work!
    Best,
    Jessica Derleth

    • Jessica,
      I would love to discuss suffrage cookbooks with you, and I will be getting in touch with you at the email address that you list. Thank you for the kind words about my book!

  11. Dear Dr. Florey,

    Thanks for all of your work–the issue of the Keynoter that you mention came to me as a gift and is one of my most prized possessions. I have been a suffrage buff for 20 years now (though not a collector, except of books on the subject). I have published a book for kids entitled, “Carrie Chapman Catt: A Life of Leadership”, and I frequently update a Facebook page called, “Suffrage Buffs of America”. I have also lectured 10 or 12 times over the years.

    With best wishes,

    Nate Levin

    • Nate–Thanks for the kind words. I will have to check out both your book and the facebook page that you mention.
      Ken

  12. Dr. Florey – I recently discovered your website and have found it to be a fascinating and valuable resource. I’m writing now to let you and your readers know about our auction company’s current offering of a small collection of original photography of important 19th-century women’s-rights figures — Susan B. Anthony, Julia Ward Howe, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Clara Barton.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.legendaryauctions.com/catalog.aspx?auctionid=90&searchvalue=women%20history&searchby=3

    Bidding officially begins on May 19th and ends on May 29th. I would be happy to send copies of the auction catalog to anyone who might be interested.

    Thank you so much for your time,

    Khyber Oser
    Legendary Auctions
    koser@legendaryauctions.com

    • Khyber,

      WordPress did not notify me of your post in time to put it up on the site prior to your auction. You did indeed have some nice pieces.

      Ken

  13. Professor Florey,

    My name is Lois Carlisle and I’m a student at the University of South Carolina, studying history. I was wondering if you had any memorabilia related to South Carolina. Specifically, if you have any banners, journals, or ballot boxes from the state. If so, would you send me an email to let me know? I’m looking for images of these items.

    Thank you for hosting such a wonderful site. This page has been very helpful.

    Lois Carlisle
    lois@email.sc.edu

    • Lois,
      I fear that there are very few 3 dimensional suffrage items from any of the Southern states, and I personally know of no banners or ballot boxes, or journals from South Carolina. At best, there might be a few leaflets with a South Carolina imprint, but that’s about it. There might be some other material, but, again, I haven’t seen any. I will post your query, and if anyone responds, I will get in touch. Good luck! I hope that you find something.
      Ken

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