Available from McFarland Books Spring/Summer 2013
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.