1915: Schoolgirls Design Posters For Women's Equality At The Fine Arts Club Contest (Colorized)

April 11, 2021

Art Club Students Advocate for Women's Rights

After nearly a century of work on the part of women’s suffragists in the United States, the issue of women’s rights was beginning to bear fruit in 1915, when this colorized photograph of schoolgirls creating women’s equality posters was taken. There was still much work to do, however, before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting American women the right to vote. 

Colorized photograph of schoolgirls creating posters to enter in an equality poster contest in 1915. (https://i.redd.it/mtoc7unbu7a51.jpg)

The girls in this photograph were living in an exciting time. Just over five years after this photo was snapped, these young ladies could cast a vote in a national election. Let’s look at the final few years of the suffrage movement. 

Women's Suffrage Took Decades to Come to Fruition 

A few states had granted women the right to vote by 1915, but none on the East Coast. (historicipswich.org)

Baby Steps Forward toward Women’s Suffrage

The organized effort of women’s suffragists in the latter half of the 1800s and early years of the 1900s consisted mainly of speeches, parades, pamphlets, and public meetings. As women asserted themselves into places outside the home, their collective voices were beginning to be heard. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, there were eight states in the west that had granted women the right to vote at the state level. Eastern states were following suit. In 1915, a referendum was put forward by the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association to allow women to vote in that state. Unfortunately, the referendum did not pass. A similar referendum in Massachusetts a few months later also failed.