Palczewski Suffrage Postcard Archive


1909 Dunston-Weiler Lithograph Company -- 12 card series

In 1909, at the height of the woman suffrage controversy and during the golden age of postcards, the Dunston-Weiler Lithograph Company of New York produced a twelve-card set of full-color lithographic cartoon postcards opposing woman suffrage. Although many companies produced series of woman suffrage related postcards, the Dunston-Weiler set is noteworthy for its graphic appeal. The postcard images reflect, and depart from, verbal arguments concerning woman suffrage prevalent during this period. They reflect arguments against suffrage that highlighted the coarsening effect the vote would have on women. The postcards also present an argument that was absent in the verbal discourse surrounding suffrage: that men (and the nation) would become feminized by woman suffrage. Accordingly, these postcards offer a productive location in which to explore how the icons of the Madonna and Uncle Sam, as well as non-iconic images of women, were deployed to reiterate the disciplinary norms of the ideographs of <woman> and <man>.

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A complete analysis of these images is available in:

Catherine Helen Palczewski, “The Male Madonna and the Feminine Uncle Sam: Visual Argument, Icons, and Ideographs in 1909 Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcards.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech 91.4 (November 2005): 365-394. Reprinted in Readings in Argumentation, ed. Angela Aguayo and Tim Steffensmeier (State College, PA: Strata, Spring 2008) and in Readings in Rhetorical Criticism 3rd edition, ed. Carl Burgchardt (State College, PA: Strata, 2009).

Palczewski suffrage postcard archive by Catherine Helen Palczewski. Please cite as follows:

Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.