The Sullivan Ordinance was a municipal law passed on January 21, 1908, in New York City by the board of aldermen, barring the management of a public place from allowing women to smoke within their venue. The ordinance did not bar women from smoking in general nor did the ordinance bar women from smoking in public, only public places. Right after the ordinance was enacted, on January 22, Katie Mulcahey, the only person cited for breaking this ordinance, was fined $5 for smoking in public and arrested for refusing to pay the fine; however, the ordinance itself did not mention fines nor does it ban women from smoking in public. She was released the next day.
The Mayor George Brinton McClellan, Jr., (November 23, 1865 – November 30, 1940) vetoed the ordinance two weeks later. He was known as "Max"
In 1911 Society Lady Mrs Craig Biddle makes the news Lighting up in public
From the New York Times January 1 1908
Miss Maie Ashe or Ash,actress, reclining, smoking a cigarette. Dover St Studios. Postcard, Rapid Photo London EC. c 1908 actress
From New York Times January 23, 1908
Virginia Slims had this in mind----mantra "You have come a long way baby! 1970
Smoking Ad from Philip Morris
More on the law
See Tobacco History
United States Tobacco Journal, Volume 71
Almanac of American Women in the 20th Century
Women and smoking in America, 1880-1950
Our life of 1908 Local Prohibition, Women Caught Smoking, Movie Theaters Prohibited, Shameful Fashions
The Bowery Boys 1908
The Sullivan Ordinance 1908