Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Receipt for Knights of Pythias and Tweets of Old

We can thank Tweets of Old for today's (late-night) ephemera post. It inspired me to blog about this old receipt for the Knights of Pythias that I've been sitting on1 and failing to write about.

First off, what is Tweets of Old? It's both a Twitter stream (@TweetsOfOld) and a blog.

Author R.L. Ripples (a pseudonym) describes it as follows:
@TweetsofOld is a Twitter stream that began as a convenient way to store interesting old news found while doing research for a book (due out Fall, 2011) about fraternal lodge initiations in the late 19th, early 20th centuries, and the company which manufactured the extraordinary equipment used for them.

Most of what I publish here are “one-liners,” the original items –brief, but whole. I sometimes edit in minor ways for length. These occasionally gossipy news briefs were popular in small town papers and often were grouped according to section or county of residence, and in some newspapers filled several pages. They were listed under headings entitled “local brevities,” “tidbits,” “squibs,” “jottings,” “scintillations,” “whisperings,” “murmurings,” “siftings,” “dots,” “echos,” “crumbs,” “sparks,” “ripples,” “telegraphs,” and so on.2
I've been a big fan of @TweetsOfOld since I first stumbled upon it in the Twitterverse. I retweet the one-liners often on @Papergreat.

A couple samples of Tweets of Old:
  • Mrs. J.C. Anderson, a giddy young thing, and the mother of 16 children, has run away with a big-trousered dude 25 years of age. OH1889
  • Some bees got on the war path yesterday while being robbed. Citizens were compelled to either close doors or leave town. GA1891

So R.L. Ripples' wonderful tweets inspired the posting of today's piece of ephemera. The above receipt shows that, in May 1926, D.B. Lehman paid his dues of $1.95 for the Knights of Pythias' Kearney Lodge No. 159 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. It was received by Master of Finance B.W. Flack and Chancellor Commander John R. Leidig.

The Knights of Pythias are an interesting fraternal organization/secret society. The group was founded in 1864 and was, according to Wikipedia, the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress. The organization's name was inspired by the legend of Damon and Pythias (which illustrates the ideals of loyalty, honor and friendship).

There are several auxiliaries of the Knights of Pythias. According to an online message from Supreme Chancellor Edwin Wright3, "The Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan is the fun order of the Knights, and they have an auxiliary the Nomads of Avrudaka which is the fun order for the feminine members4 of the family and community."

But how, you might ask, if you're still reading, did Tweets of Old figure into all of this and inspire tonight's post?

Well, it was this tweet from earlier today:


If the Knights of Pythias still offers goat rides, I'm going to have to contact them about a membership!

1. Not literally. It's not nice to sit on the ephemera.
2. Perhaps the newspaper industry could be saved by reviving this kind of hyperlocal content.
3. Not to be confused with Supreme Chancellor Valorum.
4. I'm assuming Wright really meant "female members" and not "feminine members," which is a whole different thing.


  1. I think goat riding is some sort of initiation, but what exactly, I don't know...do I want to know?

  2. Fraternal Greetings from the Battle Of Waterloo Lodge No 1 (Lodge Nr,2168) Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, Grand Council.

    Yes, really!; as a 'Primo' or Second Degree Brother I was intrigued by this Order greatly. I'm supposed to be writing, but boredom is a terrible thing and I was noodling round the net to find your blog. Top notch!.

  3. A link is worth a thousand words: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/12/the-strange-case-of-the-mechanical-goat-in-the-fraternal-lodge/249365/

    -- M.F., Royal Order of the Genus Capra

  4. I aquired an official receipt for dues from the red Cross lodge no. 88 from 1926.