Through the lens with pioneering photographer Christina Broom, who documented the suffrage campaign.
Between 1908 and 1912, Christina and her assistant and daughter Winifred captured the spectacular processions, fundraising exhibitions and fairs of both the militant Suffragette and constitutional, law-abiding Suffragist movement.
The striking photographs were made into postcards for sale, often at suffrage fairs and WSPU shops countrywide.
Several public institutions, including the Museum of London, hold many of the surviving original glass negatives of Christina’s work.
The following month she was present at ‘Women’s Sunday’ organised by the militant Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU).
Christina, who was less than five feet tall, managed to manoeuvre a tripod and a heavy half-plate box camera through the packed Hyde Park crowd into a good position within two or three feet of platform 6 – one of 20 such speaker’s platforms.
Her images capture the comradeship of the platform speakers and their supporters.
One of Christina’s images of Platform 6 depicts a policeman peeping into the edge of the shot, keen to be included.
Above the face of every woman is a hat – mortar-boards worn by the university women, or heavily decorated structures with ribbons, feathers and artificial flowers.
These would have been in the newly-launched purple, white and green colour scheme of the WSPU.
One of the most iconic images taken by Christina during the 23 July 1910 rally to Hyde Park is that of the Suffragette Organiser Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Marsh.
She is pictured standing self-confidently amongst a mainly male crowd, carrying the great silk standard of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU).
Christina photographed events organised by both the law-abiding constitutional Suffragists and the militant Suffragettes.
Her apparent non-allegiance to any specific suffrage organisation may suggest her key interest in the campaign was its commercial potential as one of London’s key visual attractions during the early years of the 20th century.
Unlike other press photographers Christina did not photograph the scuffles and confrontations between the police and Suffragettes but rather focused on spectacular, picturesque events that could be published as popular postcards.
Like other men and women in business, she understood the influence of the female consumer and was keen to harness the spending power of the suffragists and suffragettes.