Thursday, January 21, 2016

Group photo: Suffragettes, 1909-1910; Abstinence Union, 1906

Lorianne Stangl Burgess provided me with this wonderful photo! According to Lorianne, the group of young women standing in front of the window of the Ambridge Laundry were not laundry employees, but rather were suffragettes waiting for the beginning of a march down Merchant St.

Suffragettes in front of the Ambridge Laundry
400 block of Merchant St.
circa 1909-1910
owned by Lorianne Stangl Burgess

Here's what's written on the back of the photo: "4th 5 St., Merchant. 1909 -10. Ambridge, PA."

Suffragettes photo reverse

The Ambridge Laundry once was on the east side of the 400 block of Merchant St. as shown in the postcard below. On Walter Wacht's Ambridge Reprise site, he says the postcard photo shows a 1906 suffragette march. I can confirm that the postcard goes back to at least 1906, because the one I own is postmarked October 1906.

Suffragette Temperance march
400 block Merchant Street
postmarked Economy Pa,  October 3 1906

I've been trying for many months to try to learn more details about any suffragette marches in Ambridge, but so far, haven't been able to find anything. The hunt continues!

Update July 14, 2016:  While so far, I have found nothing definitive to explain the nature of the march shown on the above postcard, I'm increasingly leaning towards its identification as a temperance, not a suffrage, march. Maria Notarianni, who oversees the Good Samaritan Parish Archives, says that the Archives' copy of the postcard identifies the scene as the "1906 Catholic Abstinence Unions Parade."

The May 28, 1906, Pittsburgh Press says that on the previous day, the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of the Pittsburgh Diocese had held a large temperance rally in Ambridge.

Walter Wacht recently gave me the source of his identification as a suffrage march. "The picture (where ever I got it) had the caption." So there are conflicting identifications of the photo.

Here's a photo of women leaving the Ambridge train station for the temperance march:

Women arriving for temperance parade
May 27, 1906
Laughlin Memorial Library archives

Typed caption: "Assembling of the temperance parade after the arrival of delegates from the Catholic Total Abstinence Union Pittsburgh Diocese. May 27th 1906."

The back of the photo says: "May 27, 1906 - Womans (sic) Temperance League of Pgh - arriving for parade in Ambridge Pa."

Here's a photo of the arrival of men for the same march:

Men arriving for temperance parade
May 27, 1906
Laughlin Memorial Library archives

Handwritten caption at top: "May 27, 1906 - Start of a Parade from R. R. Depot. Note - Adams Express Office, Upstairs R R. Ticket Office; Amer. Bridge Co. & Suspended Arc Lamp on Corner."

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