Archive for April, 2016

Dates Confirmed for Early I.W.W. Stickerettes

I can finally confirm dates of some of the earliest I.W.W. stickers in my collection. The August 31, 1918, edition of The Literary Digest ran an article called “Branding the I.W.W.” that features three stickers with the caption, “Typical I.W.W. Propaganda—Stickers Circulated in the Northwest.”

1918-Aug-31_LitDigest_001

Unfortunately, the article doesn’t say anything about the stickers themselves, but it describes the conviction of 100 I.W.W. members for treason soon after the beginning of World War I and the subsequent passage of the U.S. Espionage Act. The artist and poet Ralph Chaplin, whom I’ve written about in previous posts and for the People’s History Archive, was one of those union members arrested and convicted, and I imagine he created these early stickers, known at the time as “stickerettes” or “silent agitators.”

stickerette_024

stickerette_025

Other articles in this edition include “Grenades to Suit Everybody,” Germany’s Gigantic War Profits,” and “Why Germany Destroys Art.”

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Vote Yes For Woman Suffrage sticker (1915)

In my search for the earliest U.S. political stickers, I’ve come across overty thirty different “stickerettes” or “silent agitators” produced by the Industrial Workers of the World dating from the mid-1910s to present day. Stickerettes were advertised in I.W.W. pamphlets and newspapers as early as 1917, based on microfilm reels I’ve viewed of the group’s Solidarity newspaper. I don’t have anything else that dates the earliest stickerettes, however. (Search “stickerette” on Stickerkitty to see previous posts on these items.)

However, recently I found this women’s suffrage sticker from 1915 that is dated and affixed to an envelope also dated 1915! (New Jersey voted no in the October 19th referendum, as did New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. New York passed the vote in 1917; Massachusetts in 1920; and Pennsylvania also in 1920. The latter two states passed only after Congress ratified the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote on August 19, 1920.)

US_misc_historical_351 with envelope

The envelope was sent from the “Penna. Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage.” Here is a map published by the league of how the vote was split across the state for and against.

US_misc_historical_351

 


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