The Age of Brass, Or the Triumphs of Women’s Right

Credit: Library of Congress
Media type: cartoon
Museum Number: LC-USZC2-1921
Annotation: This lithograph is one of a pair by Currier and Ives that was issued as a satirical commentary on the women’s right movement, and the threat it appeared to pose to traditional gender roles. The two candidates “Susan Sharp-tongue the Celebrated Man-Tamer” (dressed in circus-performer costume) and “Miss Hangman for Sherrif” canvass for women’s votes. Of course in 1869 women couldn’t vote anywhere in the United States, except as a newly-established experimental innovation in the remote territory of Wyoming. At the right side of the cartoon, a sharp-featured woman brandishes a fist threateningly at a man, who holds a baby. most of the women wear grotesquely exaggerated hair chignons. The year this lithograph was copyrighted, 1869, was important in the evolving status of women. Two organizations – the American Woman Suffrage Association, founded by Lucy Stone and her husband, Henry Blackwell, and the National Woman Suffrage Association, founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony – embarked on different approaches to achieving women’s suffrage. Thousands of women who entered the workforce during the Civil War continued to work outside the home, as recognized by Stanton’s establishment of the Working Woman’s Association in 1868. Meanwhile, Catharine E. Beecher and her sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, in their work The American Woman’s Home (1869), railed at the growing popularity of conveniences such as store-brought bread.
Year: 1869