Woman Suffrage Fan

A paper and wood hand fan promoting woman suffrage. The front includes the headline "Votes for Women" and the symbol of Lady Justice. The back includes the headlines "Why Women Want to Vote" and "Women Are Citizens," along with text stating reasons why women should have the right to vote. Produced by Ad.Nov.Co, Boone, Iowa, probably Advertising Novelty Company of Newton, Iowa, c. 1910.

  • Artifact: Woman Suffrage Hand Fan
  • Date: 1910s
  • Museum Location: State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IA.

Move the dividing line to see details of the front and back of the fan.



Why Women Want to Vote
And Wish to do Their Civic Duty

WORKING WOMEN need the ballot to regulate conditions under which they work.
HOUSEKEEPERS need the ballot to regulate the sanitary conditions under which they live and their families must live.
MOTHERS need the ballot to regulate the moral conditions under which their children must be brought up.
TEACHERS need the ballot to secure just wages and to influence the management of the public schools.
BUSINESS WOMEN need the ballot to secure for themselves a fair opportunity in their business.
TAX PAYING WOMEN need the ballot to protect their property.
ALL WOMEN need the ballot because they are concerned equally with men in good and bad government; and equally responsible for civic righteousness.
ALL MEN need women's help to build a better and juster government and
WOMEN need MEN to help them secure their right to fulfill their civic duties.

Ad. Nov. Co. Boone, Ia


Leo Landis, State Curator, State Historical Society of Iowa: This artifact is a hand fan that states “Votes for Women.” It has the symbol of Justice on it, it's made of paper, and is stapled on to a wooden staff. And the stick would have been mass-produced at a little lumber mill, and then the same with the paper, would have been printed with the symbol of Justice, and the text, and then stapled either by hand, possibly by a machine, but I would suspect in this case, that it was hand-stapled on to the wooden staff.

And then there's text on the backside explaining why women deserve the right to vote. And who is supporting the right to vote. So it gives a whole list. That women are citizens and, why do we support the right to vote. And it says working women, housekeepers, mothers, teachers, business women, and it goes on and on. And then explains why they deserve the right to vote. And so that's what we have with this artifact, is a hand fan that was a functional hand fan, that could be used both as a way to show your support for women's suffrage but also if you were at a rally it can be used to cool yourself.

Artifact provided courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa


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