VINTAGE 1900s ITEMS
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Vintage 2" wide paper flag on metal pin for the Modern Woodmen of America. The Modern Woodmen of America is one of the largest fraternal benefit societies in the United States. It was formed in January of 1883 at the by Joseph Cullen in Lyons Iowa. The original group only accepted "white males" between the ages of 18-45, and only in what they considered to be the 12 "healthiest" states. You were not allowed to be from a large city either. Certain professions were prohibited too. This strange fraternal created a large life insurance provider over the years including investments and banking. The organization itself is still a tax-exempt fraternal benefit society. These are very early and came out of a factory that made silks and flags many years ago. Based on the master boxes, I'd say they are from the early 1900s. As far as we can tell, these are the only examples known. They say "MWA" and have the society logo on them with an axe and gavel. The flags are paper with some aging, and the pins have a little light rust, but these are in amazing condition for their age. There was not a big bunch of these found and we have all of them, so we would suggest ordering early.
Here's the incredible story. In 1898, the Societa Veneziana Conterie Consortium was formed. It was a group of 16 bead makers who put their beads in one place so they could be sold by one sales force. Some of the stock was old when it came there in 1898 (these are those)! In recent times, the consortium was dissolved and the remaining 400,000 plus pounds of beads were sold to an American Indian Trading post. We were able to get ahold of a good quantity of the oldest types (the wrapping confirms the are pre WWI).
Vintage 5 1/2" tall Travelers Protective Association silk. The Travelers Protective Association was establish in June of 1882 in Bellfontaine, Ohio to gain concessions from hotels, railroads and transportation agencies if a member had a grievance. They were not considered a union, but were registered as a fraternal benefit society. These are very early and came out of a factory that made silks and flags many years ago. Based on the master box, I'd say they are from the early 1900s. As far as we can tell, these are the only examples known. They say "T.P.A." and have the society logo on them. They are made from the same cloth as cigarette silks, but are larger. They may have been hung on wooden sticks as flags. There was not a big bunch of these found and we have all of them, so we would suggest ordering early as they likely won't be around long. They are not bright white anymore, but are in excellent unused condition. Nice pieces.