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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
The Golden Flier

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The Golden Flier
American Automobile Manufacturers Association


This object appears in the following sections:

Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903
Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903 — Other Early Trips

Pulling Alice Ramsey's Maxwell automobile out of a ditch

Alice Ramsey and her companions

Nell Richardson, Alice Burke, and the "Golden Flier"
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
On April 6th, 1916, in an attempt to influence politicians and public opinion, suffragists Nell Richardson and Alice Burke, with their newly acquired kitten Saxon, left New York and began to drive across and around the country to drum up support for voting rights for women. Their yellow Saxon automobile, nicknamed the "Golden Flier," became a moving symbol of women's rights and a podium for speeches in many towns and cities. Sponsored by the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the trip began and ended in New York City. Burke, Richardson, and Saxon, who by the time the women got back to New York at the end of September 1916 was, in the words of one newspaper, "nearly full grown" traveled for nearly five months and covered more than 10,000 miles.
Physical Description
Date Made:
In 1916, the race for the Presidency was on, and supporters of women's suffrage fought to get the Republican Party, the Progressive Party, and the Democratic Party to add a suffrage plank to their party platforms. Although some women did vote in elections because the states they lived in allowed them to, suffragists wanted to pass a constitutional amendment that supported women's suffrage. Large numbers of women attended both the Republican convention in Chicago, and the Democratic convention in Saint Louis. Suffrage activists staged marches, and engaged in street theater to try to get their message across to delegates. In St. Louis, democrats had to walk through four to five thousand silent women, wearing yellow ribbons and carrying golden parasols to get into the convention. Pro-suffrage forces didn't succeed in their goals in 1916, but in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment passed, enshrining women's right to vote in the constitution.

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