LOOK: Remembering early female voters

A look back at empowered ladies on the eve of a new milestone for women in politics.

"Early women voters." Well dressed men and women sit and stand on the porch of a building with signs that reads: "Polling Place, Ward and District 9, Precinct 1" and "Election Notice." (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-8811)election; voting; suffrage; history colorado; historic; denver public library; dpl; archive; archival; denverite
"Early women voters." Well dressed men and women sit and stand on the porch of a building with signs that reads: "Polling Place, Ward and District 9, Precinct 1" and "Election Notice." (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-8811) election; voting; suffrage; history colorado; historic; denver public library; dpl; archive; archival; denverite
“Early women voters.” Well dressed men and women sit and stand on the porch of a building with signs that reads: “Polling Place, Ward and District 9, Precinct 1” and “Election Notice.” Circa 1907. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-8811)

THROWBACK THURSDAY

No matter the outcome, election night this Tuesday will be historic in Hillary Clinton’s breaking through the glass ceiling, becoming the first woman to be named a major party’s presidential nominee in this country.

So it seems appropriate this #ThrowbackThursday to look at another milestone in gender equality, the eventual triumph of the womens’ suffrage movement. These images found in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection are a glimpse back into this watershed moment.

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“Early women voters.” View of a woman, a ward worker, in a dark dress and hat, talking to a woman who holds a baby and stands with a young girl. Circa 1907. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-8811)

While the information associated with these images do not include an exact time and place, the planked porch in the first photo suggests a western locale, potentially Colorado.

Colorado, by the way, was the first U.S. state to elect women to its legislature, and the first state to legalize women’s voting via referendum. (Wyoming and Utah granted women the vote through legislative action in 1869 and 1870.)

It’s quite likely these ladies were lined up to vote for or against Howard Taft, who was elected in 1908 and would later be documented visiting Denver in 1911.

President William Howard Taft seated in the back of a convertible automobile on a visit to Denver, Colorado. October 3, 1911. (Harry Mellon Rhoads/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-5817) historic; denver public library; dpl; archive; archival; denverite
President William Howard Taft seated in the back of a convertible automobile on a visit to Denver, Colorado. October 3, 1911. (Harry Mellon Rhoads/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-5817)

Kevin Beaty

Author: Kevin Beaty

Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video.