It’s true: Suffragist Edna Kearns “can can”

An article appeared in The Monroe County Mail (Fairport, NY) on October 21, 1915 that’s worth taking a look at. The piece meant the news traveled from Long Island to upstate New York with information about my grandmother’s “can can” campaign. It was intended to prove that a woman could both “can” and make a good speech. Edna harvested the fresh fruit in season and then put the energy to work for Votes for Women. See 1915 column called “Woman’s World.”  Grandmother Edna was determined to demonstrate that voting and safe food were related. She didn’t just talk about it. She canned herself and taught others about safe canning techniques. Edna also raised funds for the suffrage movement by canning.

The suffragists modeled leadership –how people can take advantage of existing opportunities to spread the word about their cause or special interests. Grandmother Edna Kearns knew that women could be reached in the kitchen. So she focused on where women could make the connection between political rights and the domestic arts. Thus, her “Can Can” campaign reached women in their own homes!

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6 responses to “It’s true: Suffragist Edna Kearns “can can”

  1. Very interesting story.

  2. Very interesting taking the kitchen out into the world.

  3. It was a bigger deal to can back in those days. We take canning for granted today. Just open a can and that’s it. You have to know the truth, about the hours women once spent in the kitchen canning.

  4. This story is basic, to the point about a part of our history I didn’t know about. And the headline’s clever.

  5. I like this site very much.

  6. Let Edna can can and strut her stuff. She’s quite a lady.

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