Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 7

"Equal suffrage for Michigan in 1916" Advertising Fan for the Bissell Company

Price Upon Request

About

"EQUAL SUFFRAGE FOR MICHIGAN IN 1916," ADVERTISING FAN FOR THE BISSELL 'CYCO BALL BEARING CARPET SWEEPER,' COMMISSIONED BY ANNA BISSELL (1846-1934), AMERICA'S FIRST FEMALE CEO Oriental-made, twill-woven silk fan with gilt lettering that reads : "Bissell's 'Cyco Ball Bearing Carpet Sweeper' makes sweeping easy," set within an interesting, open, geometric design. A purposefully curved, paper label beneath was applied by the "Michigan Equal Suffrage Association, Kalamazoo, 405 So. Burdick St.," whose byline is along the bottom. On it, a terrific message reads: "OVER 100,000 WOMEN pay taxes in Michigan on property assessed at $177,596,938. In 1910 OVER 175,000 MICHIGAN WOMEN signed a petition sent to Congress asking for Equal Suffrage. 247,373 MICHIGAN MEN voted for Equal Suffrage in 1912. MICHIGAN WOMEN WANT TO VOTE. MICHIGAN MEN SHOULD HELP THEM. The good of the state demands the CO-OPERATION of MEN and WOMEN. Equal Suffrage is coming. LET MICHIGAN LEAD not FOLLOW." Melville and Anna Bissell ran a crockery and glass shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tired of sweeping dust off the floor, Melville invented a carpet sweeping machine, which he patented in 1876. This pre-dated electric counterparts by approximately 50 years. Customers frequently having asked if they could somehow acquire one, production of the sweeper began on the shop's second floor in 1883. When Melville passed of pneumonia at the young age of 45, in 1889, Anna took over the company, becoming one of America's first female executives. In 1919 she formally became chairman of the firm, which made her our nation's first female CEO. Michigan had a storied history in the Suffrage movement. In 1866, Michigan's first women's suffrage bill was defeated by just one vote in the Michigan State Legislature. Four years later, in 1870, the Michigan State Woman Suffrage Association was formed in 1870 in Battle Creek, home of the Kellogg Company and in close proximity to Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. In that same year, the state Legislature passed its first suffrage bill, only to have it voted down by then-Governor Henry Baldwin. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled throughout the state in the 1870's and 80's, mobilizing and inspiring Grand Rapid's resident Emily Burton Ketcham. In 1884, the Michigan Equal Suffrage Association (MESA)--the organization advertised on this fan, was formed in the city of Flint, and in 1899, Ketcham, who had become president of MESA, hosted the state convention in Grand Rapids. Local business women and philanthropist, Anna Bissell, was a natural fit for the suffrage movement and one of its strong supporters. In addition, the Bissell name and product were fast becoming well respected by women across America. The fan, the Bissells, and the Michigan Equal Suffrage Association are connected with both Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Melvin Bissell opened a grocery store in Kalamazoo with his father, Alpheus, in 1862. This is where he met and married Anna. He sold the store in 1869 and, having begun to produce and sell stoneware, he and Anna moved to Grand Rapids to open the crockery store in 1870. In 1916, the year in which this fan was produced, the president of the Michigan Equal Suffrage Association was Mrs. Orton H. Clark of Kalamazoo. MESA's annual convention was held in Grand Rapids, and it would seem that Anna Bissell commissioned and gifted the fans for this event. As the fans are hand-painted, imported, and lettered in gold gilt, it would appear that Anna spared little expense for the celebratory objects for use in her local community, advertising the Bissell name and MESA. The message on the fan is very well formulated and delivered. The organization seems to have approached the subject of Suffrage in a scholarly fashion. In 1911, Harry E. Hunt authored a book entitled "Michigan Laws Relating to Women And Girls: A Comprehensive Digest of the Statutory Law And Amendments There to as They Relate to Women and Girls ; also, Pointed Decisions of the Supreme Court of Michigan Affecting Same," published by MESA in both that year and 1915. During WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-18), work by women in support of the war effort garnered a lot of male endorsement across the nation for woman suffrage, something that wasn't lost on Michigan voters. A woman state suffrage law appeared on the November 1918 Michigan ballot and was passed by a margin of approximately 55%. After the 19th Amendment, approving suffrage, was passed by Congress on June 5th, 1919, Michigan became one of the first three states to ratify the decision just 5 days later, on June 10th (sources differ as to whether Michigan was technically the second or third state, but all three approved on the same day). It would not be until more than a year later, on August 18th, 1920, when the required count of 36 states had ratified and the amendment became law. Anna Bissell passed in 1934. Mounting: The fan was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and related textiles and have framed thousands of examples. The two-part frame consists of a black-painted and hand-gilded Italian molding, to which a flat profile molding, made of Caribbean mahogany, with a surface that is nearly black, with reddish undertones and highlights, was added as a liner. The frame was converted into a deep shadowbox to accommodate the object. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic. Condition: There are splits in the brittle, silk fabric, accompanied by modest to moderate foxing and staining. There is wear and fading of the paint on the handles. The great rarity of the object well-warrants the condition Frame Size (H x L): 16.75" x 21".

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 16.75 in (42.55 cm)Width: 21 in (53.34 cm)Depth: 3 in (7.62 cm)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
    1910-1919
  • Date of Manufacture
    1916
  • Condition
    See item Description.
  • Seller Location
    York County, PA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: ws-0761stDibs: LU849718662202

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Retrieving quote...
    Ships From: York County, PA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn More
About the Seller
5.0
Located in York County, PA
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Established in 1991
1stDibs seller since 2008
56 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 10 hours
More From This SellerView All
  • Rare Yellow & White Suffrage Parasol with "Votes for Women" Text
    Located in York County, PA
    EXTRAORDINARILY RARE, YELLOW & WHITE, SUFFRAGE PARASOL / UMBRELLA, WITH “VOTES FOR WOMEN” TEXT, DISTRIBUTED BY THE NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION UNDER ANNA HOWARD SH...
    Category

    Mid-20th Century North American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Cotton

  • California Bear Flag Made in 1969 for the 200th Anniversary
    Located in York County, PA
    California bear flag variant design, made in 1969 for the 200th anniversary of the of the first European discovery of the san Francisco bay; the only example of this textile that I h...
    Category

    Vintage 1960s American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Silk

  • "Votes for Women: Suffrage Pennant ca 1912-1920
    Located in York County, PA
    American Suffrage movement pennant, with a standard, triangular taper. Made of yellow felt, with tapered letters that read simply: "Votes for Women," boldly printed in black pigment....
    Category

    Early 20th Century American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Felt

  • Colorful Civil War Recruitment Broadside for the "Manhattan Rifles"
    Located in York County, PA
    MASSIVE & COLORFUL CIVIL WAR RECRUITMENT BROADSIDE FOR THE "MANHATTAN RIFLES,” WHICH MUSTERED INTO 43RD AND THE 57TH NEW YORK INFANTRY DIVISIONS IN THE WAR'S OPENING YEAR, EASILY AMO...
    Category

    Antique 1860s American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Paper

  • Civil War Drum Made by John C Haynes Company of Boston, Massachusetts
    Located in York County, PA
    PAINT-DECORATED CIVIL WAR DRUM, MADE BY THE JOHN C. HAYNES COMPANY OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, 1861-63 This beautiful Civil War drum has a vivid, scarlet red shell, on which an Ameri...
    Category

    Antique 1860s American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Wood

  • Elongated Pennant Made for the 1912 Presidential Campaign of Roosevelt & Johnson
    Located in York County, PA
    ELONGATED PENNANT MADE FOR THE 1912 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT & HIRAM JOHNSON, WHEN THEY RAN ON THE INDEPENDENT, BULL MOOSE / PROGRESSIVE PARTY TICKET: Elongated,...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Cotton

You May Also Like
  • 1868 Map of the Upper Part of the Island of Manhattan Above 86th Street
    By Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co.
    Located in San Francisco, CA
    This wonderful piece of New York City history is over 150 years old. It depicts 86th street and above. It was lithographed by WC Rogers and company. It was made to show what was the ...
    Category

    Antique 1860s American American Colonial Maps

    Materials

    Paper

  • "The Second World War," by Winston Churchill
    By Houghton Mifflin & Co.
    Located in Austin, TX
    The Second World War by Winston Churchill from Houghton-Mifflin Company, Boston. A vintage edition of Winston Churchill's six-volume memoir, The Second World War, for which he was...
    Category

    Mid-20th Century American Modern Books

    Materials

    Paper

  • Souvenir of the War 1914-15-16-17-18 Banner
    Located in Colorado Springs, CO
    Presented is a stunning textile banner from the first World War, dating to 1918. The square tan cotton cloth is embroidered with two crossed flags, the Royal Indian Marine Ensign and...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s Australian Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Cotton

  • Fathers of the Air Service Authentic Signature Collage, circa 1926-1993
    Located in Colorado Springs, CO
    Presented is a collage celebrating the men who made an early impact on the formation of America’s Air Service. Complete with signatures by Jimmy Doolittle, Tooey Spaatz, Hap Arnold, ...
    Category

    Late 20th Century American Historical Memorabilia

    Materials

    Paper

  • 46-Star American Flag Printed in Drum Star Configuration
    Located in Colorado Springs, CO
    This is an original 46-Star American parade flag, celebrating Oklahoma statehood. Each star on the flag's canton represents a state in the Union at the time. The official flag design...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia

    Materials

    Silk

  • US Air Corps in Australia Vintage Military Pennant, circa WWII
    Located in Colorado Springs, CO
    Presented is a souvenir felt pennant celebrating the servicemen and women of the U.S. Air Corps who were based in Australia and fought alongside members of the Royal Australian Air F...
    Category

    Vintage 1940s Australian Historical Memorabilia

    Materials

    Felt

Recently Viewed

View More

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Trusted Global Delivery