Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Assoc. Tin Blue Bird Hanger, 1915

Regular price $650.00

So, this is a very special thing, which I've been pretty excited to learn about, including to find out that it is quite the rare collector's item. This terrific tin sign was issued by the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association to support a 1915 state referendum to give Massachusetts women the vote. On July 19, 1915, “Suffrage Blue Bird Day,” approximately 100,000 of these tin birds were pinned up around the state (I really love envisioning that giant flock of these hung up everywhere!) carrying the message "Votes for Women Nov. 2."

Now an iconic symbol of the suffragette movement, the bluebird includes the names of Gertrude H. Leonard and Teresa A. Crowley (printed along the right side of the tail feathers) who were greatly responsible for the work of lobbying in the state legislature in favor of a suffrage bill. At the bottom right tip of the sign is printed the "Union Bug", showing that the sign was produced in New York City by members of Local No.1 of the Amalgamated Lithographers of America (ALA), a labor union formed in 1915 to serve the interests of workers in the printing trade. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts referendum failed (statewide, 35.5% voted in favor of the measure), and Massachusetts women did not gain the vote until the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920. 

Scratched by hand into the back of the sign is "March 1914," which seems perhaps an incorrect note after the fact, as I do not believe the signs were produced until 1915. There is one small hole punched through the white of the eye that would have been used for hanging. 

These are very rare and highly collectible. The sign measures approximately 11 7/8" tall x 3 1/2" wide. I have not touched its surface, which shows age and wear, including some rusting along the edges and scratches as documented in photos, and some bends in the tin particularly on the tail. It still looks great, though, and this wear certainly suggests it was hung and seen...quite a wonderful piece of history, I think!