Digitized Suffrage Posters


Yesterday, I came across a really cool digital archive from Harvard’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Hundreds of posters in its collection were recently digitized, and a post on the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s website pointed out that this included a number of suffrage posters.

Having researched suffragist dress, these are especially cool to me, and I had to share them. Also, last week marked the 93rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Here are a few of my favorites in the collection:



Handicapped!, c. 1907-1918, from Schlesinger Library



Votes for Women poster, c. 1913, from Schlesinger Library

Take a look for yourself! I’d love to hear which ones are your favorites.

Friday File

Happy Friday! For the past week I’ve been thinking about my hair here and there. I’ve come to the realization that it may be time to grow it out. I’ve had my current cut since November, and I’m ready for something different. It’s a demanding style that requires frequent trips to the salon, and it would be nice to save a little money by not going so often.

I’m thinking a nice chin-length bob will serve me well. It might be a bit tricky to grow out, though, since the cut is asymmetrical. I might need to get the right side trimmed in order to even it up. We’ll see how patient I am too. It’s much easier to make a decision to cut ones hair, because you can act on that right away. Growing hair out is a whole other ballgame.

What’s been on your mind this week?

Now for a quick hit of links from around the web:

Artist Christopher Coppers knows how to take an X-Acto knife to a magazine. He literally carves into them to create some cool effects.

Bill Cunningham went to Massachusetts to cover Victorian Weekend. I always get a kick out of people dressed up in costume, not for reenactment, but just for the fun and love of it.

The National Museum of American History tackles the problem of displaying a 100-year-old suffrage banner.

The Cut rounds up some great photos of retro flight attendant uniforms.

Suffrage Romance

I just about squealed (OK, that’s a lie, I squealed a lot) when I watched this Lady Gaga parody video a fellow fashion historian sent to me. It pays homage to suffragists from the 1910s who fought for women’s right to vote.

Created by Soomo Publishing, it spoofs Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. If you haven’t seen the original, watch it first, and then rush back here to watch the suffrage parody.

Some things to watch for: yellow roses which were symbols of suffrage, the colors yellow, white and purple of the National Women’s Party, women being force fed — this really happened when suffragists in prison went on hunger strikes, women protesting in front of the White House during World War I, and the color red which represented the antisuffragists. Many arguments against women’s suffrage centered around the idea that giving women the right to vote would restrict men’s rights, which the lyrics in the video refute. There are also allusions to hobble skirts that limited women’s gait, the marches and parades suffragists held to draw attention to the cause, and Abigail Adams’ letter to her husband.

The fashion historian nerd in me loves the period costume adaptations. And the Gaga fan loves the music and Bad Romance video references.