Florence Hope Luscomb, social and political activist, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on February 6, 1887, the daughter of Otis and Hannah Skinner (Knox) Luscomb. With an S.B. in architecture (M.I.T., 1909), she worked as an architect until 1917, when she became executive secretary for the Boston Equal Suffrage Association. She held positions in the Massachusetts Civic League and other organizations and agencies until 1933, when she became a full-time social and political activist. In the early 1920s Luscomb began to serve on the boards of civil rights, civil liberties, and other organizations; over the next 50 years these included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Boston), the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the American League for Peace and Democracy, and many others. She helped organize and was president of a Boston local of the United Office and Professional Workers of America.
Luscomb ran unsuccessfully for the Boston City Council, United States House of Representatives, and governor of Massachusetts. Never a communist, she opposed anti-communist investigations as attempts to curtail dissent and in the 1950s worked to stop them. In 1955 she was investigated as a subversive by government committees in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Luscomb travelled to the Soviet Union in 1935 and illegally to China in 1962 and attended several international peace and women's conferences. In the 1960s she worked against the Vietnam War and in the 1970s frequently spoke to women's groups and conferences. From the 1950s to the mid 1970s, Luscomb lived in cooperative houses, usually with much younger people. She died in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1985 at 98. Collection consists of a permit issued to Florence Luscomb by the Health Department of the City of Boston, Massachusetts. The permit grants permission to Luscomb to act as a hawker and peddler. Luscomb sold copies of suffrage journals, including The Woman's Journal, on the streets of Boston.