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  EXTRAORDINARILY RARE, YELLOW & WHITE, SUFFRAGE PARASOL / UMBRELLA, WITH “VOTES FOR WOMEN” TEXT, DISTRIBUTED BY THE NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION UNDER ANNA HOWARD SHAW’S LEADERSHIP [HEADQUARTERED IN NEW YORK], CIRCA 1913-1915
Dimensions (inches): 37.5" diameter x 35" tall
Description:
In the world of Suffrage memorabilia, parasols and umbrellas are known to have been produced, but hardly any exist. Made in both Britain and America, most of the organizations known to have commissioned them did so with white or purple, green, and white, utilizing the traditional British colors. In America, some of these can be identified to the Women’s Political Union of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

As for those in the traditional American colors of golden yellow and white, typically with black text, examples are known to have been produced and sold by the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA), beginning in the summer of 1913. According to author and expert Ken Florey, the organization peddled them for “one dollar each or ten dollars a dozen…[promoting] them as good for advertising the cause at street meetings, summer resorts, and county fairs. The design consisted of yellow and white in alternate sections, with “Votes for Women” in the white sections.” Florey goes on to explain how some umbrellas in this style are known with names of states hand-painted in the yellow panels. I am aware of Oregon and Idaho. Florey also indicates that one is known for Alaska. His discussion of the subject, and an illustration of the Idaho example, appear in his book, "Women's Suffrage Memorabilia" (2013, McFarland & Co., North Carolina), on pp. 192 and A8, respectively. The Oregon example, which have seen and held first-hand, is illustrated in "The Keynoter: Journal of the American Political Items Conservators," Summer/Fall/Winter 2008 (Women's Suffrage Special Triple Issue), Vol. 2008, No. 2-4, p. 110.

In “Woman Suffrage Memorabilia,” Florey describes a heavy demand for parade accoutrements in the 19-teens. Despite the supposed numbers in which these yellow and white umbrellas were likely to have been produced, this is the only example that I am aware has actually surfaced with the “Votes for Women” text only and no state names. This makes it far more universally desirable.

A period image survives in the Albert R. Stone Negative Collection, Rochester Museum & Science Center (Rochester, New York,) of women carrying parasols in this style on Main Street West in that city on August 15, 1914. The marchers, masked, were described as wearing yellow dominoes (nun-style dresses) and carrying yellow parasols. According to museum cataloguers, “The outside parasols are plain; those on the inside have the inscription, "Votes for women". The first group, in yellow and blue dominoes, advertised the speech and visit of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw [this would be members of the Empire Campaign Committee]. The second group carried placards with the names of equal suffrage states and the dates when they adopted votes for women. The Club Theatre, whose sign advertising "Burlesque" is clearly visible behind the marchers, occupies the premises at 75 Main Street West formerly occupied by the Shubert Theatre.” [Source: https://catalogplus.libraryweb.org/?section=resource&resourceid=1116655286¤tIndex=0&view=fullDetailsDetailsTab]

The National American Women’s Suffrage Association was formed in 1890. It represented a merging of the two largest Suffrage groups in America before that time. These were the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), formed in 1869 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), also formed in 1869 by Lucy Stone and her Husband, Henry Brown Blackwell, Henry Ward Beecher, and others. Stone’s daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, spearheaded negotiations to complete the merger. Headquartered in New York City. the NAWSA had a nation-wide network of state and local chapters.

Although Elizabeth Cady Stanton served as the new organization’s first president, Susan B. Anthony did most of the hands-on work of running the NAWSA. Carrie Chapman Catt took the helm in 1900, then Anna Howard Shaw from 1904 -1915. Shaw would have been president when the parasols were first being marketed. Catt re-took the leadership in 1915 and served through the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1919, which was ratified by the required number of states in 1920.

Construction: Made of cotton, panels, joined with machine stitching, affixed to a black-painted metal framework with hand-stitching and cotton ties. There is a black-painted metal shaft with a bent, bamboo handle.

Condition: There is minor to moderate foxing and staining throughout.
   
Primary Color: yellow, white
Earliest Date: 1913
Latest Date: 1915
For Sale Status: Available
Price Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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