"Mothers’ Votes Protect the Home"
Banner used by Texas suffragists
Purple, white, and gold were the suffrage movement’s colors signifying loyalty, purity, and life. This banner also uses green, a color more associated with suffrage in England. The slogan communicated that a woman could vote and fulfill her role as homemaker.
This banner is part of the Jane McCallum Collection at the Austin History Center. McCallum was president of the Austin Woman Suffrage Association and served in several key roles with the Texas Equal Suffrage Association. She saved a treasure trove of literature related to the national and state suffrage movements. This banner was among those treasures, stored in McCallum’s garage until gifted to the Austin History Center.
When the Bullock Museum saw what a gem the Austin History Center had in their collection, they offered to fund the conservation of the banner. The conservator first cleaned the surface of the banner to reduce dirt, particulate fibers, and lint. The fibers were also humidified to relax creases and align the fabric’s weave. The white, purple, and green painted letters were found to be water soluble, so no cleaning of the actual letters was possible. Then the entire banner was adhered to a new fabric support. Rather than fill in the losses of fabric, the conservator opted to let the support fabric show through. The result is a vibrant suffrage banner, now stable enough for display at the Bullock and conserved for generations of Texans to come.
Courtesy Jane Y. McCallum Papers, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library
Time Period: 1866 - 1936
Exhibit: Sister Suffragists
This artifact is currently on view.