Commercial Post Cards With Positive Images of Suffragists

Emilia D. van Beugen, photographer1908/1917

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia

The popularity of post card collecting roughly coincided in time with that of the ascendancy of the last phase of the American suffrage movement. Commercial publishers, who may or may not have been ideologically disposed towards the idea of “Votes for Women,” nevertheless saw in the movement a potential for profit, and hundreds of cards with both positive and negative images were issued.

What were extremely popular with both suffragists and the general public consisted of those cards depicting children in suffrage related themes. The innocence of children undermined any threatening message that the anti forces tried to project about the consequences of the female franchise. Also popular were holiday cards with the message of “Love Me, Love My Vote” that appeared for Valentines Day. Many suffrage cards were likewise printed for Christmas and New Years.

While suffrage organizations produced their own cards, suffragists were delighted with these commercial varieties and featured pictures of them in their papers, such as The Woman’ Journal, collected them, and sent them to their friends. Selections from the archives of activists of the day are more likely to contain examples of commercial cards than they are of those produced by “official” suffrage associations.

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  • Title: Commercial Post Cards With Positive Images of Suffragists
  • Creator: Emilia D. van Beugen, photographer
  • Date: 1908/1917