Memorabilia From the Pennsylvania Liberty Bell Campaign

Emilia D. van Beugen, photographer1915/1915

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia
United States

In 1914, when Pennsylvania activists were preparing their campaign in support of the referendum on suffrage that was to take place in the state in the following year, they consciously avoided much of the visual rhetoric that was occurring in other states, regarding it as “sensationalism.” The one exception to this policy was an idea developed by Katherine Wentworth Ruschenberger to fashion a replica of the Liberty Bell and add “to establish justice” as part of the wording to the original inscription.

The bell was cast at the Meneely Foundry in Troy, New York. Brought back to Pennsylvania, the bell, now known as the “Woman’s Liberty Bell,” was placed on a specially re-enforced truck and driven through all 67 counties of the state. The clapper was bound to prevent it from ringing until November 2, 1915, the day suffragists hoped that the franchise amendment would pass in Pennsylvania. Suffragists used the truck as a platform from which they addressed audiences, sometimes huge, with their message. They also passed out souvenirs, including the metal watch fob and the buttons that are pictured here.


  • Title: Memorabilia From the Pennsylvania Liberty Bell Campaign
  • Creator: Emilia D. van Beugen, photographer
  • Date: 1915/1915

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