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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

The Marketing of the Movement

During the last decade of the suffrage campaign, greater mass production of commercial goods combined with new marketing techniques created an environment that both suffragists and manufacturers profitably exploited. Mainstream and militant suffragists alike saturated the marketplace with a proliferation of suffrage commodities, available especially in major urban centers but also through catalog sales. These included badges, pins, clothing, playing cards, dolls, tea sets, fans, food, and more. In addition, women opened suffrage restaurants, grocery stores, and retail shops; produced suffrage movies, plays, and songs; and unleashed an unprecedented stream of political print culture. These suffrage-themed products helped to legitimize the movement, advance its “political salesmanship,” raise money, and keep the cause ever-present in daily life.

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