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Supplying Fraternalism:
DeMoulin Bros. & Co. and Side Degree Paraphernalia

Supplying Fraternalism:
DeMoulin Bros. & Co. and Side Degree Paraphernalia


The expansion of fraternal and benevolent societies in the late nineteenth century also created a business opportunity to supply those lodges with the paraphernalia for rituals, including "side degree" products. DeMoulin Brothers in Greenville, Illinois, led the industry in fraternal products.


Article Sample

Imagine for a minute that it is 1900, and you have just been admitted into the fraternal organization, the Modern Woodmen of America (MWA). You have been a member for almost a week, and you already know some of the secrets and rituals that MWA members hold close to their hearts. You approach the meeting hall to attend the next assembly of members. After knocking on the door in a secret rhythm, just as you were instructed, you begin to recite the secret password. But, just before you can say the word, four men open the door and drag you into the dark interior of the building. They bind your hands and lower you into a guillotine, and they begin to question you about your organization’s secret rituals and passwords. After you are interrogated for several minutes, your fellow Woodmen burst into the room and chase off the imposters.

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Student Resources (DESE)

DESE Expectation(s)

  • 6. Knowledge of relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions


  • US History
  • 19th Century
Beyond the Classroom