“Stamping for Suffrage,” What Kenneth Florey Predicted!


Kenneth Florey is the author of books on suffrage memorabilia. Ken has written for Suffrage Wagon News Channel in the past about the importance of the US Postal Service in recognizing the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in some way. In his columns, Florey urged the US Postal Service to publish and distribute a suffrage centennial series. As Ken also predicted, the national postal service could also issue a single stamp. That’s what happened. Below: Examples of past stamps.

US postage


by Kenneth Florey

Given past practice, it is highly likely that the US Postal Service will commemorate the 2020 centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Doubtless it will issue at least one postage stamp honoring “Votes for Women,” if not, more probably, a “souvenir sheet,” containing a variety of stamps picturing different elements of the movement.

In 1948, for example, the postal service printed a stamp honoring the “one hundred years of progress of women” featuring images of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Carrie Chapman Catt. In 1970, the PO distributed an issue for the 50th anniversary of the suffrage amendment picturing a “votes for women” touring car that was so popular during the campaign, and, in 1995, it honored the 75th anniversary with a colorful design featuring a large group of suffragists in front of the Capitol Building. The souvenir sheets celebrating the major events of the different decades of the 20th century included a stamp delineating a woman voting.

The postal service has not neglected individual suffragists either. There have been stamps honoring Susan B. Anthony (twice), Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, Abigail Adams, Dr. Mary Walker, Julia Ward Howe, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Belva Lockwood, and Alice Paul. Still yet to be pictured are such notables as Harriot Stanton Blatch, Anna Howard Shaw, and Inez Milholland, the suffrage martyr. Victoria Woodhull, the first woman ever to run for President (1872), has not been graced with a stamp either, although her period notoriety, particularly her stance on “free love,” could preclude her from ever appearing.

… The reason why I believe in the possibility of multiple stamps is that the PO in its current budget crisis has not been bashful in printing many different series to attract stamp collectors. If cartoon characters, famous chefs, baseball players, jazz musicians, Olympic athletes, early TV memories, and Gulf Coast lighthouses can be honored with multiple issues as they have been, surely the centennial celebration of women’s right to vote should attain at least equal if  not greater recognition.

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