Susan B. Anthony’s Silk Shawl

Susan B. Anthony’s Silk Shawl

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Woman’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony wore this red shawl when advocating for woman’s rights at suffrage conventions, speaking engagements or congressional sessions. Red shawls became one of her trademarks and a way to make her instantly recognizable to reporters and the public. It was said in Washington that there were two signs of spring: the return of Congress to the nation’s capital and the sight of Anthony’s red shawl as she also returned to lobby congressmen.
Currently not on view
Object Name
associated person
Anthony, Susan B.
Physical Description
red (overall color)
silk (overall material)
overall: 63 in x 63 in; 160.02 cm x 160.02 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
National American Woman Suffrage Association
History, Women's Suffrage
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
Woman Suffrage
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Not a question. But I did not know about the importance of her shawl until I watched an episode of PBS Kids show "Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum". I love that fashion and feminism have always been intertwined and wish that this was better known. Thank you for helping me share the facts and photos with my young children.
Is the fringe on all 4 sides of the shawl or is it only on 2 sides?
What is the dye or pigment source of the red color?
"Would Susan B. Anthony wear her red shawl on most days? Or only on important occasions, like when she spoke to an audience?"
Where did Anthony acquire the shawl? Was it purchased or homemade by herself or a friend?

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