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Oh My Stars and Garters

What’s Inside the 125-year-old Safe Left by the Woman Suffrage Party? Today We Find Out

Today is the day– here in New York City, the locked vault of the Women’s Suffrage Party will be opened, 125 years after the organization’s founding. The safe has been sitting in the Manhattan office of National of Women of the United States– which was founded back in 1888 by people like Susan B. Anthony and Clara Barton. It hasn’t been opened due to “limited funds,” but that changes now.

What’s in the safe? Find out under the cut.

The contents of the safe are completely unknown, but have been the subject of much speculation. Kaitlin Legg, Program Assistant with the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, thinks there could be “Letters, or something that illuminates the relationships between the women who were fighting for women’s suffrage…”

She goes on to explain why these would be especially fascinating, even among other artefacts of the movement:

We think of suffragists as these strong women who were fighting independently, and it would be nice to see the more nuanced relationships they had together.

Other people have other suspicions. Catherine Cerulli, director of the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership at the University of Rochester, wonders:

“Will we find the names of ‘closet feminists’—secret high-level supporters who felt they could not back the radical group publicly?”

It’s certainly a possibility.

Whatever secrets this black box holds, they won’t be secrets for much longer.

(via Gothamist, header image via Wikimedia Commons)

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  • Anonymous

    A letter from 1999 and a credit card expired in 2002? Someone had the funds to get into it.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    “What’s in the safe? Find out under the cut.”
    You know what it is? Oh cool! *clicks*
    “The contents of the safe are completely unknown”

  • Loonerist_Spies
  • Anonymous

    But it wasn’t Geraldo’s fault!

  • Hannele Kormano
  • Nuuni Nuunani


    Hmm…a box full of keys….I really hope they go to a collection of other safes. ;3

    All in all it seems like quite the fascinating find. So was it put there originally as a sort of time capsule to look back on the times and achievements?

  • Hannele Kormano

    I do wish the article clarified that part! Presumably it’s just an awkward piece of furniture they’ve been stuck with.

  • Dave

    Or the suffragettes invented time travel.

  • LifeLessons

    Oh just squee!