In over 30 years spent hunting for and selling objects related to the women’s suffrage campaign, this little box is the only example I have ever found of ‘Votes for Women’ Hooks and Eyes. Although I had it photographed in black and white back in the 1990s, the box in reality is tricked out in the WSPU colours of purple, white and green.
The manufacturer registering ‘Votes for Women’ as its trademark was not the only maker of hooks and eyes to discern a market for its goods among the supporters of the suffrage cause. Votes for Women (eg issue for 23 April 1909, p 26) carried advertisements for ‘Smart’s invisible hooks and eyes ‘ which were the’ patented invention and property of two members and supporters of the Women’s Social and Political Union.’
These items might well have been found amongst the stock of the suffrage shops opened by the various suffrage societies.
As well as being campaigners, the majority of suffragettes and suffragists were, of necessity, also needlewomen. So here was an opportunity to back the Cause while sewing fastenings onto their skirt plackets or bodices.