Anti Suffragette postcard (c.1913)

As a symbol of the state, the postal service has often been targeted by groups seeking political reform. During the campaign to win votes for women, militant and moderate suffragettes alike used and attacked the postal system to increase the momentum of their campaign and to ensure frequent media coverage. And with over 32,500 pillar boxes in place by 1900, the scope for direct action was almost without limits. On 15 December 1911, Emily Wilding Davison set three pillar boxes ablaze by lighting pieces of linen saturated with paraffin and pushing them through the letter slots.

This colour postcard with an image by Dudley Buxton shows a woman being ejected from a burning pillar box by a large boot on a concertina. Underneath the image is: ‘’AUTOMATIC SUFFRAGETTE EXTERMINATING PILLAR-BOX' (PATENT NOT APPLIED FOR).'

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