Susan B. Anthony’s ‘Birkin’: The First Power Purse

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.”– Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony House and Museum, Rochester, N. Y.

Susan B. Anthony House and Museum, Rochester, N. Y.

“Every woman deserves a purse of her own.” –Susan B. Anthony

Via NY Times:

“Though she has rarely been described as a style icon, the suffragist Susan B. Anthony Z-ROW-A-articleInlinewas readily identifiable on her travels by her red shawl and alligator handbag. To her, a bag was not a fashion statement but a symbol of independence at a time when women were not allowed to enter into a contract or even open a bank account.

Timage1069he alligator bag traveled with Susan B. Anthony wherever she went—around New York, to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., across the country to California and other western states, even crossing the ocean on a ship bound for Germany. It was by her side on trains, sleighs, stagecoaches, buckboards, steamships, and all other forms of transportation Miss Anthony used in her thousands of trips to meet with people, give speeches, advocate for women’s rights, and change hearts and minds to support equal rights for all people. This simple alligator bag carried Susan B. Anthony’s most important items for her travels—speeches, papers, the transcript of her 1873 trial, petitions, and other documents necessary to press the case to others that all people should be treated fairly in the workings of communities and governments.

And yet, Anthony is now the namesake of what appears to be an “it” bag.

The Susan B. Anthony House, a museum that operates in her former residence in Rochester, has been selling a $250 handbag made of fake alligator that was inspired by one of Anthony’s own club bags, similar to a doctor’s bag.

Called Ms. Anthony, the 17-inch-long crescent-shaped Z-ROW-B-popup-1 bag was designed by Gail Riggs of the Abigail Riggs Collection to benefit the museum. It is inscribed with two of Anthony’s mottos: ‘Failure is impossible!’ and ‘Every woman needs a purse of her own.’–NY Times


2 thoughts on “Susan B. Anthony’s ‘Birkin’: The First Power Purse

  1. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to
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