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John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera and Women's Studies: Transport

A guide to finding the easiest ways to accessing ephemera of interest to Women's Studies in the John Johnson Collection

Transport and liberty

Transport is an important element in the emancipation of women, enabling them to leave the home.

Women quickly embraced cycling and motoring. All our Motoring material is digitised through the Toyota Project, and there are selections from the Bicycles section and other transport sections. The John Johnson Collection has a good and evocative section devoted to Shipping Lines and Cunard Lines, and we are gradually acquiring the Sayers Collection of Ocean Liner Ephemera.

The Bicycles and Motor Cars sections include advertisements, catalogues, greetings cards, etc and also document important changes in women's attire.

The Toyota Project charts women's motoring dress from hideous dust coats, through fashionable furs (necessitated by cars open to the elements) to everyday dress and the complete acceptance of women at the wheel. Women cyclists and (to a lesser extent) motorists were also popular with advertisers wanting to express the modernity of their products.

More passive images of women travelling by ocean liner, rail, etc. can also be found in the relevant sections, as well as in Advertising.


Motoring Dress from Dunlop CatalogueAdvertisement for Stowers lime juice showing a New Woman and bicycle, 1890sAdvertisement for Fry's Cocoa, showing woman traveller at a border, c. 1910Advertisement for Lifebuoy Soap showing a couple waving to departing passengers on an ocean liner, 1900-1910


From right to left:

Motoring Dress from Dunlop Catalogue. JJColl: Motor Cars 8 (MOT-245)

Advertisement for Stower's Lime Cordial, 1890s. JJColl: Soft Drinks 2 (23)

Advertisement for Fry's cocoa and milk chocolate, c. 1910. JJColl: 

Cocoa, Chocolate and Confectionery 2 (71a)

 Advertisement for Lifebuoy soap, c.1900-1910. JJ Coll: Soap 4 (76)