Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Amanda Melvina Lougee, 1842-?

By Antonia Scott, undergraduate student
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Treasurer of Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association and New England Woman Suffrage Association, patron of National Council of Women

Amanda Melvina Lougee was born in 1842 in either Walmouth or Weymouth, Massachusetts to Robert W. Lougee and Sarah Lougee. Her parents were from New Hampshire. She had two sisters and a brother. Although the date of her death could not be determined, she was 38 years old, unmarried, and living in Suffolk County, MA according to the 1880 census; however, based on the dates when her patents were filed, she must have lived to at least 1902.

According to The Keynoter, she worked at a rubber manufacturing company in Hyde Park with her brother and took over the business when he died in 1879. Occupations for Women: A Book of Practical Suggestions for the Material Advancement, the Mental and Physical Development, and the Moral and Spiritual Uplift of Women published in 1897 said of Lougee:

She began in 1879 with rubber-gossamer works, and has since developed the manufacture of double texture clothing, mould work, electrical tape, etc. She employs two hundred and seventy-five men and women, and occupies besides a factory at Clarendon Hills, three floors of a large block in Boston, with offices in New York and Chicago. Probably most men who deal with 'A. M. Lougee, Treasurer,' do so in utter ignorance that they are dealing with a quiet little elderly woman.

It was in this company, developing electrical and textile techniques, Lougee designed several patents. Her most famous work is the covered button, patented in 1895 as US523149. This is the same type of button we see today of a design on a metal button covered in cellophane, although a paper design now is used instead of cloth. This patent was bought by Whitehead & Hoag who used the design to patent the modern campaign pin in 1896. Lougee's other patents include US713123, electrical conduit; US717009, method of making electrical conduit; US564174, armored-insulating conduit; US737751, an improved way of making fabric; US 809311, fireproof wire; US809312, process of making fireproof conductors; and US809313, protected conductor.

Lougee's suffrage work included serving as an auditor and treasurer for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, treasurer for the New England Woman Suffrage Association, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Women, and a patron for the National Council of Women. The Keynoter also mentions that she submitted a recipe for the Woman Suffrage Cookbook for "Fruit cake" in 1886.


"Amanda Lougee." My Heritage, My Heritage Ltd,, Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

"Amanda M. Lougee - 1880 Census Record." Mooseroots by Graphiq, Graphiq Inc,, Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

Browne, Ray Broadus and Browne, Pat. The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Popular Press, 2001. p. 620., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

Harper, Laurel. "Button Brigade." I D, vol. 47, no. 7, 2000, pp. 68-71 Arts Premium Collection,, Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

"The Keynoter." Huntsville, Ala. : American Political Items Collectors, vol.v, no. 2-4. 2008, pp. 91., Accessed 5 Mar. 2017.

Lougee, Amanda M. "Covered button." U.S. Patent No. 523,149. 17 Jul. 1894., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

Lougee, Amanda M. "Electric conduit." U.S. Patent No. 713,123. 11 Nov. 1902., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

Lougee, Amanda M. "Method of making electric conduits." U.S. Patent No. 717,009. 30 Dec. 1902., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

Lougee, Amanda M. "Fabric." U.S. Patent No. 737,751. 1 Sep. 1903., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

National American Woman Suffrage Association. Proceedings, 1912, pp 198-200. Accessed at the website of the Library of Congress at, Accessed 5 Mar 2017

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Susan Brownell Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage. History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. 2. Susan B. Anthony, 1881. pp. 701-03, 719-21. [LINK to p. 701 of HWS, vol. 2]

"Provisional Patents, 1899." The Electrical Engineer, vol. 24. 22 Sep 1899, pp 383. Accessed online at, Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

Robbins, Louise Barnum. "The History and Minutes of the National Council of Women." Boston, MA: EB Stillings & Coo., 1898. Downloaded from Google Books, pp. 167, 224, .287, 342., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

"Weekly Electrical Patents." Electrical World, vol.xlvii, 20 Jan 1906, pp 183, 271., Accessed 5 Mar 2017.

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