1909: Concept of a police-woman

‘Suffragette posed in police uniform to illustrate woman police concept, Cincinnati, Ohio’

Why these pictures were taken is currently not known.  They show - according to their captions - a suffragette (and possibly two) demonstrating what the novel concept of a "police-woman" might be like, somewhere in Cincinatti.

In 1909, there were no women police officers in the USA. However the following year Alice Stebbins Wells, 37, was to be the very first woman to become a police office, in the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1916, she would be also be the first president of the International Association of Women Police. 

‘This is serious work and I do hope the newspapers will not try to make fun of it.’

- Alice Stebbins Wells


‘How woman policeman would look making an arrest’

All images: Bain Collection, Library of Congress