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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Typewriting Pavement Press Releases, 1920-style

Were it so easy to produce a press release – and while on the move, what’s more  – these days. Here we see League of Women Voters representatives gathered around a table on a sidewalk while typewriting and mimeographing news releases to hand out at train stops en route to the 1920 Democratic Convention in San Francisco late June 1920.
Yes, we have laptops today, powered by batteries, and email. But gee, this was all done by hand, and the end product was put before the eyes of the intended recipients in an instant. Hard to beat!
The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago on February 14, 1920. It was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt (below) during the last meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, six months before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote. The amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920. The league began as a "mighty political experiment" aimed to help newly enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters.
I can guarantee one thing, 92 years down the track: These women might have been typewriting and copying press releases on pavements, but the contents would have been, in terms of construction, at least about 1000 superior to anything being issued by political hacks and lobbyists today.
The Democratic Convention, by the way,  resulted in the nomination of Governor James Cox of Ohio for President and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York for Vice-President.
In Germany in 1935, Hitler Youth used the same methods at a boy's camp to get their message out.

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