“Pennsylvania History Presents” is an online feature of the Pennsylvania Historical Association’s (PHA) website. Begun in 2019, we offer for free public access one article from the current issue of its quarterly award-winning journal, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. The article is chosen by the journal’s editor, and often connects to current events in Pennsylvania and American history. The initiative helps to meet the PHA mission of understanding how the past informs the present helps us shape a better future.

For the Fall 2020 issue, we are making available Laurie A. Rofini’s article “Rung it Never can be Until All Women are Free:” Katherine Wentworth Ruschenberger and the Justice Bell

Abstract: This article traces the origin, creation, and use of the Justice Bell, a replica of the Liberty Bell that was cast for a statewide tour in support of the 1915 Pennsylvania referendum on woman’s suffrage. Suffragists used the image of the Liberty Bell well before 1915, connecting its symbolism of freedom to the suffrage cause. After the unsuccessful 1915 campaign, the bell was used for national suffrage events, patriotic fundraising, and get-out-the-vote campaigns. Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger commissioned and paid for the bell and retained ownership of it until her death. The post-1915 use of the bell reflects the shift in her suffrage affiliation from the more traditional National American Woman Suffrage Association to the radical National Woman’s Party.