Florence Tuttle's Sash and Louise Dunbar's Dress

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Florence Tuttle's Sash and Louise Dunbar's Dress


Handmade Votes for Women Sash, 1916
This sash belonged to Florence Tuttle ‘16, an active member of the National College Equal Suffrage League serving in multiple leadership roles. She and two classmates handcrafted their sashes for Suffrage Day and marched in a band. Florence (left in band photo) and her sash are clearly visible because of the unique hand-cut letters.

Louise Dunbar dress, ca. 1912
This cotton batiste dress belonged to Louise Dunbar ‘16, President of the Equal Suffrage League. It was likely worn for a high school graduation before her time at Mount Holyoke, though it would have been similar to dresses she wore for special occasions at college.

Image Description: A mannequin angled slightly to the right wears an ecru cotton dress and a “Votes For Women” sash. The dress has a high square neck and elbow-length sleeves, both trimmed with lace. This lace continues vertically down the bodice with pintucking along the sides and narrows at a high waist with two lace rosettes. The lace is continued down the skirt with two decorative strips attached at the waist; they end above the knee in decorative tassels. The white sash is pinned diagonally at the right shoulder and left hip with black paper letters spelling “Votes For Women.” The letters are hand-cut and obviously imperfect. The sash is slightly creased between “For” and “Women” and the paper ‘W’ is beginning to pull up from the sash in some places where it was folded.

In another photograph, three students wear triangular paper hats, sweaters over white dresses, and “Votes For Women” sashes pinned across their chests. They are in the midst of marching outdoors — a brick building and trees are visible in the background. The student on the right marches slightly ahead wearing a drum harness with drumsticks in either hand; she smiles at the camera. The other two students at left and center walk slightly behind holding small bugles to their lips. The student in the center looks ahead as Florence, on the far left, squints at the camera. Her sash is identifiable as the one on display because of the matching letters. There seems to be another dress-clad figure behind Florence: only an elbow is visible.

An additional photograph depicts Louise Dunbar wearing the dress circa. 1912. Her hair is loosely pulled back and seems to be tied with a very large white bow. In addition to the dress, she wears a pair of white slippers, white stockings, elbow-length white gloves, and a bracelet on her left wrist. In her gloved hands she holds either end of a closed hand fan below her waist. A long satin ribbon trails from the end of the fan to the ankle-length hem of her dress. The dress is evidently the same as the one on the mannequin, albeit in better condition.


Florence Tuttle


c. 1912, 1916


Cotton, paper; cotton


case03_votes_001, case02_votes_006





Florence Tuttle, “Florence Tuttle's Sash and Louise Dunbar's Dress,” Digital Exhibits of the Archives and Special Collections, accessed May 19, 2024, https://ascdc.mtholyoke.edu/items/show/3808.

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