Question of the month

The Fortune Teller of Guggisberg is a genre picture. It shows a fortune teller in everyday costume reading the palm of a smartly dressed city woman, who wants to know if her wealthy male companion can make her lucky in love. The next customer can be seen in the background: a farmer with his cow which, perhaps, is not giving enough milk.

What does the future hold?

The history of female fortune tellers extends from the sibyls and Biblical prophetesses of Antiquity to the cartomancers of 19th-century Switzerland.
The engraving shows Werner and Gertrud Stauffacher with their children on the veranda in front of their house. Werner, a troubled look on his face, is sitting on a chair while his wife stands upright, her index finger raised, remonstrating with him. One child clings to her skirt, while to the right the other plays with a crossbow.

Where the heart is – or isn’t

In 1984/85 the Lesbian Front, a working group of the Zurich Homosexual Women’s Group, renamed its magazine “Frau ohne Herz” (Woman without a Heart).
Women sorting laundry for the troops on tables in a windowless room.

From substitutes for men to activists: Swiss women and the Great War

The mobilisation of Switzerland in 1914 altered the place of women in society, speeding up female emancipation and gender equality.
Recht der Weiber

How to speed up a snail

The founding fathers of the Switzerland of 1848 and their sons lived for many years with a contradiction: women were denied “citizens’ rights” up until 1971.

The road to women’s suffrage: delving into the press archive

The road to women’s suffrage: a look back through the press archive at the mood of the time.
The black and white cartoon shows a quaint farmhouse set against a picturesque Alpine backdrop. In front of the farmhouse, a farmwoman is standing next to a table on which there are large slabs of butter. In her left hand, the woman is holding a boot and in her right hand she is pressing a spoon into the butter, which she will presumably use to grease the boot. Under the cartoon the text reads: ‘The maiden calmly spreads butter on the boot’ while as the song goes ‘There’s no sin on the Alpine pastures!’.

Fighting for food and a political voice

Food security can be closely linked to political participation. This link is illustrated on the basis of Switzerland’s food crisis during the First World War.
The black and white photo shows two women working in the fields, with a lake and open countryside in the background. The older woman on the left of the photo is bending forward and vigorously hoeing. The woman on the right appears to have just completed her movement and is standing up straight holding a hoe. Both women are fully focused on the task at hand.

Mina Hofstetter – farmer and feminist

Mina Hofstetter was a pioneer of animal-free agriculture and a champion of women’s interests in the early 20th century.
The photograph shows an assortment of different coloured federal ration stamps (1939–48). Each one displays the quantity of food that can be obtained in exchange for the stamp (meat, pulses, oats, barley, pasta).

Rationing and making do

How do you cook when food is scarce or rationed? The Swiss National Library looks at the relationship between diet and rationing.
The photograph shows a small, artistically decorated, three-pronged silver fork. The left and right prongs are both curved slightly outwards. The fork shaft is somewhat broader towards the end and has ornament-like decorations.

Fillet steak or veggie burger? Food is about more than just nutrition

Filet mignon or sausage salad? Meat or vegetarian menu? The Swiss National Library asks what our eating habits say about our lifestyle.
In addition to the book title “Das billigste Kochbuch” and further details from the title page, the advertisement informs readers that the new publication is available from the Schablitz’sche Buchhaltung bookshop in Zurich, price 75 centimes. It also reproduces the full table of contents.

Nose to Tail

Using every part of an animal is a modern trend; but in fact it dates back to traditional practices of efficient resource management and the enjoyment of good food.