Curiosities - Initiation Device, Odd Fellows

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Initiation device, Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Wood, iron, rubber
21 inches (53.3 cm) by 24 inches (61 cm) by 8.5 inches (21.6 cm)
Late 19th to early 20th century
Ex. private collection of Odd Fellows material, Indiana

A triangular wooden case contains two separate wooden triangles, one studded with iron spikes and the other with rubber facsimiles. Apparently, during the initiation of new members, candidates were blindfolded after being shown a triangular chair with a seat of metal studs on which they were to sit to prove their worthiness. While they were being led, blindfolded, to the chair, the rubber-studded triangle was substituted, allowing for a slightly softer landing.

It is rare to find a complete kit; this one even has four extra studs (three rubber, one iron). It weighs 30 pounds. Case is scuffed and worn from use.

The fellowship's motto is Amicitia, Amor et Veritas or "Friendship, Love and Truth," and began in Manchester, England, 26 April 1819.



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