An advertisement from the newspaper Forward, 1912, which jokes about the window-smashing actions of militant suffragettes.
Many women had campaigned for the right to vote during the 19th century. The Women's Suffrage Society was set up in Edinburgh in 1867, and in Scotland alone over two million signatures were collected on petitions in favour of women's suffrage between 1867 and 1876. By the start of the 20th century, however, some women had become frustrated at the slow pace of reform and decided to take more radical action. In 1903 the Women's Social and Political Union was founded in Manchester with the intent to take more militant action, and a branch was set up in Glasgow in 1906.
Militant suffragettes became notorious for a campaign that sought to draw attention to the issue of women's suffrage by damaging private public property and buildings. Window-breaking was a common tactic, and in 1908 a group of women pelted the windows of 10 Downing Street with stones. However, this advertisement probably refers to the antics of Helen Crawfurd, Annie Swan and other Glasgow suffragettes who were arrested in London in 1912 on charges of smashing windows. Crawfurd, Swan and Janet Barrowman were jailed for the crime.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
advertisements, arson, Forward, glass manufacturers, glass merchants/manufacturers, glaziers, James Caldwell Glazier and Glass Merchant, militants, petitions, political activists, suffragettes, votes for women, window smashing, windows, women, Women's Social and Political Union, women's suffrage, Women's Suffrage Society