Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

June 1912: Selling Suffrage and Sandwiches at the Portland Rose Festival

“Votes-for-Women Ballyho Wagon, Pike Davis Spieling, Will Furnish Sandwiches,” Portland Evening Telegram, June 8, 1912, 2.

imageThe Portland Rose Festival was in its fifth year in 1912 and members of the Portland Woman’s Club Suffrage Campaign Committee capitalized on the event as an occasion to promote the votes for women campaign in full swing that summer. The suffrage lunch wagon was a popular hit and brought a great deal of publicity to the cause.

Campaign committee members, led by Esther Pohl, used the kitchen of the Women of Woodcraft Hall to prepare sandwiches, ice cream, doughnuts and soda to sell from noon until 2:00 each day of Rose Festival week. They decorated a Speedwell truck with votes for women banners and bunting in suffrage white and yellow and rode through the streets selling sandwiches and suffrage to the crowd.

W.M. “Pike Davis, head of the Multnomah County Men’s Equal Suffrage League, was on board the suffrage lunch wagon to call out to the crowds. When it rained, as sometimes happens in Portland in June, workers unfurled a large votes-for-women umbrella.

The use of popular media and participation in parades was part of the new votes for women movement of the early twentieth century. The Oregon campaign benefitted from the successful popular promotion of the suffrage cause.

Additional Reading:

“Buns to Boost Suffrage,” Oregonian, June 10, 1912, 10.

“Hot Cakes Not In It,” Oregonian, June 12, 1912, 9.

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Posted by admin on 06/09 at 04:27 PM

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