Political cartoons and your ancestors’ lives

It’s quite instructive to look at the wider view – how events of national importance affected the lives of your ancestors, and how these were depicted.

Often political cartoons tell us more about the public perception of such events than the history books do. 

Here’s a cartoon from 1908 by the American cartoonist Henry Grant Dart. entitled “Why Not Go The Limit?”

womens sufferage

This was a comment on the Women’s Suffrage Movement, in particular the right for women to smoke in public, as men could.

I think it interesting that this whole scenario – women in bars drinking, smoking and checking the racing results – was regarded as unacceptable, when clearly it was quite acceptable for men to do exactly the same.  But I doubt there would be a bowl of free fudge on the piano of a men’s bar!

I’ve started to put together a collection of cartoons about Women’s Suffrage.  You may be surprised to discover that magazines such as ‘Punch’ could show remarkable support for suffragists – but rarely did so for suffragettes.  You can see the collection here: www.sharehistory.org/projects/93-the-cartoonist-and-the-suffragist

About kate

Experienced genealogist but virgin blogger...
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