Whilst looking online for images of radio and women (partially because I was reminded of such images by a photo of a more recent Katharine), I came across this lovely one of suffragist Kate Frye on the blog of the women’s suffrage historian Elizabeth Crawford, who has also published Kate’s diary leading up to suffrage in 1918. (The whole blog is well worth reading!) As Ms Crawford notes, Kate was an avid radio listener – as attested to by the photo here, where the radio headphones hang casually over the headboard. It is not only unusual to see a photo of a woman in her bedroom from this era, but I also have to say this is the first image I have seen of radio outside of a sitting room. Elizabeth Crawford is currently developing a documentary for ITV based on Kate Frye’s life (and diary) and it will be great to see what remnants of radio listening might appear.
Working my way through Kate Frye’s extensive collection of photographs I have just come across this one. It is so unusual to see a photo of a woman lying in bed that I thought I must share it with you all. You’ll note the radio headphones hooked on the brass bedstead which probably dates the photo to the second half of the 1920s. The photo would have been taken by Kate’s husband, John Collins, who was a keen photographer. Kate, for her part, was a keen and early radio listener, delighting as she did in all forms of music and drama.