A surprise in Kenneth Florey’s book on woman suffrage postcards. A special program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe!

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“American Woman Suffrage Postcards” by Kenneth Florey from Vimeo.

DISCOVERY OF HISTORIC ARTIFACT IMAGE IN NEW BOOK

by Marguerite Kearns

As I held Kenneth Florey’s book in my hands recently, I felt a surge of delight in flipping the pages for an overview of the postcard images that our grandmothers, great grandmothers and other family members may have viewed that illustrated their interest in, and in many cases, their involvement in this important American civil rights movement.

American Woman Suffrage PostcardsHundreds of these postcard images with scholarly commentary are now available in Florey’s 2015 book American Woman Suffrage Postcards: A Study and Catalog  (McFarland, a leading publisher of academic and nonfiction books). Kenneth Florey, professor emeritus at Southern Connecticut State University, is a long-time specialist in woman suffrage memorabilia. He has lectured on the subject in the U.S. and abroad, appeared on television, and written articles for a variety of publications.

Imagine my surprise when an unidentified postcard jumped off the page that only my eagle eye could have caught –that of the “Spirit of 1776,” the suffrage campaign wagon that inspired this web site.

WHY THE WAGON IMAGE DISCOVERY WAS SO EXCITING!

This postcard photo (shown here) is the first time the public is able to see the “Spirit of 1776” horse-drawn wagon used for suffrage movement grassroots organizing in the full context of the oceanside setting in Long Beach, NY in July 1913. That’s only one of special treats available when making American W1913 Spirit of 1776 wagon, 1913, Long Beachoman Suffrage Postcards part of your library.

If any of us were to try and imagine what it was like for our family members to be activists during the suffrage movement (1848 to 1920), we’d do ourselves a favor by spending quality time relaxing with this work. Over the past year I’ve witnessed several women’s suffrage postcards go viral, but these sharings, though informative, didn’t give a complete picture of the wide range of subject matter that’s expressed in the 700+ examples in what Kenneth Florey calls a “study and a catalog.” These postcards represent a wide variety of types of cards used for different purposes as “visual rhetoric.”

THE POPULARITY OF MOVEMENT POSTCARDS AS VISUAL RHETORIC

Activists collected the postcards, exchanged them, used them for fundraisers and souvenirs, as well as for sending messages to friends. They cover a wide range of topics, including anti-suffrage messages, the promotion of real events and programs, including actual arguments pro and con of women voting.

The book production staff at McFarland shared my excitement in being able to identify the details of July 1913 not long after Edna Kearns, Serena Kearns, Irene Davison and others left Manhattan for a month of votes for women organizing on Long Island. Though the newspaper coverage of the campaign at the time was ample and other images exist of the wagon, the “Spirit of 1776” postcard in this new book from McFarland shows for the first time the horse attached to the wagon and its various patriotic protest messages.

WHO’S IN THE POSTCARD PHOTO?

There’s my grandmother Edna Kearns sitting in the far left of the wagon on the beach, wearing her colonial costume. Little Serena Kearns is to the far right of the wagon, at age eight. And the woman in the middle, holding the umbrella, is unidentified. Perhaps there’s someone out there with an eagle eye like mine who could identify other features and add to the fascinating detail of this picture.

Here’s what McFarland’s web site had to say about the “Spirit of 1776” postcard discovery.

SuffrageWagonCafeThanks for stopping by to join us at Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has videos platforms on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. Follow the 2016 Inez Milholland centennial during 2016. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. 

Let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Video about next program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. I have a surprise discovery to share with you.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has videos platforms on Vimeo.

SuffrageWagonCafeMeet me at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. Follow the 2016 Inez Milholland centennial during 2016. Suffrage Wagon is a partner in the national observance. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Cooking School demo of soup simmering on a Waterford Stanley wood-burning stove! Videos!

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Birthday party in the works featuring Waterford Stanley wood-burning cook stove! on Vimeo.

CornMelonsSuffrage Wagon Cooking School is celebrating its first birthday this summer. We started the cooking school with corn last year. Why? Because of the corn Edna Kearns canned for demonstration purposes that got her out in the community to reach women and speak about votes for women. The special cooking demonstration with roast corn on the cob.

How to make Butternut Squash Soup at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo.

Suffrage cookbooks were popular fundraisers for the cause. And cooking was by no means a tidy activity. We’re introducing our very own wood-burning cook stove, an Irish variety, the Waterford Stanley cook stove.

Hot Tea Month during JanuaryFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Episode #3: Wilmer Kearns & Edna Buckman meet on Suffrage Storytelling!

Wilmer Kearns

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Bess introduces Wilmer Kearns on “Suffrage Storytelling” on Vimeo

by Marguerite Kearns

Wilmer Kearns had no idea of what would be ahead of him when he first met Edna May Buckman in 1903 at a Philadelphia art exhibit. They were both students, but the fact they hadn’t been “properly introduced” upset Edna’s family. During the couple’s secret meetings at a teahouse on Market Street in downtown Philadelphia, the roar of conversation around them lowered when Wilmer launched into one of his tales. Wilmer couldn’t claim to be directly connected to the old Philadelphia Quaker establishment, but he could stand his ground as far as being a master storyteller, in addition to the respectability of the Kearns family back in Beavertown, Pennsylvania where Wilmer had been raised.

John Preston Kearns, Wilmer’s father, owned and operated a horse and buggy company, the Beavertown Carriage and Harness Works, a business well known for quality custom horse-drawn wagons. J.P. Kearns had established quite a reputation in Central Pennsylvania for producing carriages and buggies for friends, neighbors, and regular customers over several decades.

YOUNG WILMER LEFT BEAVERTOWN TO STUDY BUSINESS IN PHILADELPHIA

After the completion of the railroad in central Pennsylvania,  young Wilmer Kearns left town to attend business college in Philadelphia. To his mother Henrietta Kearns’ dismay, he never returned to live back in Beavertown, though Wilmer would visit and write to his parents John and Henrietta often.

wilmerWilmer registered for the course of study at Pearce College of Business that included English, bookkeeping, penmanship, business correspondence and forms, business law, math, ethics, commerce, and trade. Prior to marrying Edna in 1904, Wilmer also studied economics, history, biography, philosophy, and music. Some subjects were self taught and other subjects were mastered through classes sponsored by Cooper Union in New York where Wilmer lived after accepting his first job as an accountant in Manhattan.

The crash courses transformed Wilmer Rhamstine Kearns, someone who had received his early schooling at a one-room school with lessons primarily conducted in German. Photographs in the Kearns family archive show Wilmer with friends from the Philadelphia business college, images of Kearns family members back in Beavertown, along with special portraits he and Edna had taken together at a center city Philadelphia photography studio.

TeaParty2Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on VimeoMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

News Notes include Woodstock, NY exhibit of women artists & People’s Town Hall in NYC

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Equality Celebrations and Women’s Suffrage News Notes on Vimeo.

It’s the countdown for August 26th, Women’s Equality Day, The People’s Town Hall, cosponsored by Women on 20s, Women You Should Know, Unite Women New York, and the Department of Records and Information Services/WomensActivism.NYC. A panel of speakers includes Liz Abzug (moderator) – consultant, professor, attorney/lobbyist; Rosemonde Pierre-Louis – Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, attorney, and advocate; Amy Paulin – Assemblywoman serving the 88th Assembly District of New York State; Laurie Cumbo – Democratic New York City Councilwoman serving the 35th District and Chair of Committee on Women’s Issues; and Nicholas Ferroni – educator and historian. The Town Hall runs from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Space is limited. RSVP to: http://www.nyc.gov/cgi-bin/exit.pl?url=https://www.greenvelope.com/event/PeoplesTownHall

Woodstock, New York is in the news with its town board resolution honoring its women’s history AND the announcement by the Woodstock School of Art about a new exhibit: “Overlooked: Woodstock Women Artists: Rediscovering Lesser-Known Painters.” The exhibit opens September 12 and runs throughOctober 31, 2015 with a reception on Saturday, September 12, 3-5 p.m.

Women’s suffrage newsletter is on the stands! on Vimeo.

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Facebook Suffrage Wagon News Channel is on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Cooking school celebrates recipes during its first year of operation!

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Our hats off to Suffrage Wagon Cooking School recipes! on Vimeo.

When a birthday rolls around, we take advantage of it. Espacially when Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is in the spotlight for its first birthday party. We’re highlighting some of our best recipes as part of the August 26th programming. An overview of some cooking school videos during 2015:

Make Chinese Fortune Cookies at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo.

Celebrate Pi Day with American apple pie for women voters! on Vimeo.

Make a mean cup of coffee at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo.

Other video highlights during 2015: Fortune cookies preview. Affiliation with Suffrage Wagon Cafe. The why of Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. The desserts of Eighty Bug. How to make a mean cup of coffee promo.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

More from Bess on “Suffrage Storytelling,” plus news notes!

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Being an Independent Woman in 1903 wasn’t easy! Find out more on “Suffrage Storytelling” on Vimeo.

COMING SOON: We’ll meet Wilmer Kearns who starts complicating young Edna’s life because she wanted to go slowly out into the world and not get tangled in a romance, at least not right away.

“SUFFRAGE STORYTELLING” so far: Episode #1  Episode #2

IN OTHER NEWS: The “10 Days in a Madhouse” movie release date has been pushed back to November 20, 2015 to position for The Golden Globe Awards and The Academy Awards. Based on investigative reporter Nellie Bly’s undercover exposé, the film follows Bly as she feigns insanity in order to be committed into Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum before the turn of the 20th century.

Nellie Bly was in the front lines of women reporters entering a world that had been dominated by men. Bly covered the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC and supported the women’s suffrage movement. She was a trailblazer in the world of journalism. “10 Days In A Madhouse is directed by Timothy Hines (War of Worlds the True Story), and it is produced by Susan Goforth.

Did you miss the special program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe about August 26th and the 95th anniversary of the 19th Amendment? Stop by and catch up with the cafe programs that were launched in March of 2015.

PARTY SCHEDULED: Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is celebrating its first birthday this summer and fall. Watch for special features.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.