Friday, October 25, 2013

The Independent order of Odd Fellows

We are always trying to keep things interesting in the shop by mixing in a few vintage finds in with the new clothing and home goods and we have a new addition that is a real treasure. 
The Independent order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization that originated in Great Britain and eventually spread to the US in the 17th century. At that time it was considered "odd" to find people organized with the purpose to give aid to those in need and benefit mankind, hence the name 'Odd Fellows'. 

The Odd Fellowship was the first fraternity in the US to include both men and woman as members. Lodge degrees and activities aim to improve and elevate every person to a higher, nobler plane; to extend sympathy and aid to those in need, making their burdens lighter, relieving the darkness of despair; to war against vice in every form, and to be a great moral power and influence for the good of humanity. 
The American Civil War shattered the IOOF in America; membership decreased and many lodges were unable to continue their work, especially in the southern States. After the Civil War, with the beginning of industrialization, the deteriorating social circumstances brought large numbers of people to the IOOF and the lodges rallied.
From 1860 to 1910/1920, also known as the "Golden Age of Fraternalism" in America the Odd Fellows became the largest among all fraternal organizations, (at the time, even larger than Freemasonry. By 1889, the IOOF had lodges in every American state.

Currently in the shop we have an original ribbon from the Odd Fellow Lodge in San Francisco. This ribbon is truly unique and would make an amazing gift or addition to you home decor or collection. The ribbon features the 'All Seeing Eye' a common symbol for the Odd Fellows as well as Freemasonry as well as the triple links representing the Odd Fellow values of Friendship, Love and Truth.