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RARE EARLY UNION! AOUW STERLING SILVER PRESS MEDALLION




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Your Price: $ 250.00 New
Item Number: 3925
 

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JULY SPECIAL!! spend a total of $100 or more to save 15%. Contact me directly on larger orders and.or wholesale discounts. I'm in the process of downsizing my online stores and am ready to wheel and deal!! check out my sale items too. make sure to use code: julydeal Use coupon code julydeal when ordering for 15% off when your order is over $99.99.



Dating back to the late 1800s to early 1900s, this piece measures approximately 2" across by about 5 1/2" long.

This highly unusual and unique memento is not just a collectible fraternal piece, but also a nice quality piece of jewelry. The top piece is scalloped and enameled. It's sterling silver and hand chased, and the back is marked as followsl:

W.THEGEN
PHILA PA
STERLING

It has a "C" clasp which works well, and hanging from it is a figural of an open bible which says "HOLY BIBLE" across the top. Attached to the top piece is a deep purple velvet ribbon, and hanging from it is a silver Victorian chased piece with the enameled word "PRESS" and a round enameled medallion hanging from it.

The large round medallion has a sheild shaped center decoration with blue and black enameling, as well as raised relief motifs of an anchor and ribbons. The center of the sheild has the initials "A.O.U.W.", which stands for "Ancient Order of United Workmen ". The back of the round piece is marked as follows:

W.THEGEN.
PHILA. PA

In superb condition, there is no apparent repair or replaced parts. The enamel is in excellent condition as well and the material is in impeccable condition and appears to be original. Surely a welcomed addition to the most advanced of collections.

WEIGHS close to 68 GRAMS (w the cloth).. nearly 2.5 OUNCES..mostly sterling silver!

more on this piece:
from../wiki/Ancient_Order_of_United_Workmen

The Ancient Order of United Workmen was a fraternal organization in the United States and Canada, providing mutual social and financial support after the US Civil War. It was the beginning of the American network of fraternal benefit societies.

History
The Ancient Order of United Workmen was founded in Meadville, Pennsylvania on October 27, 1868 by John Jordan Upchurch. It aimed to adjust "all differences which may arise between employers and employees, and to labor for the development of a plan of action that may be beneficial to both parties, based on the eternal truth that the interests of labor and capital are equal and should receive equal protection."

Upchurch was a freemason, and incorporated various traditions of freemasonry including local "lodges" (branches), regalia and initiation ceremonies.[1]
The Ancient Order of United Workmen evolved into the Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Company,[2] which was taken over by American United Life Insurance Company and is now part of OneAmerica.

The AOUW also had lodges in Canada.[1] The assets and operations of the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Ontario were acquired by the Independent Order of Foresters in 1926.

and...
/masonicmuseum/fraternalism/aouw.htm

"Fraternalism and Fraternal Benefits Societies are based on the simple premise that every person is his or her "brothers keeper", and therefore have a moral responsibility to each other. After the Civil War, the United States underwent a fundamental economic change, that also changed the "fabric" of society as well. As the railroads created the potential for national markets, factories - built to satisfy those markets - created opportunities that tempted many people to move away from the farms, villages, and hamlets to pursue their fortunes in the growing urban centers. But massive urbanization created a very real human need. Many found themselves lonely, alienated, and living on the financial brink. Most factory workers of the day worked long hours for meager wages, and had no form of insurance benefits to leave their dependents when they died. In the agrarian communities, the policies developed by the national governments to pay off the nations war debt were causing shortages in the supply of money and extremely high interest rates. As a result, farmers experiencing bad growing years were losing their farms in record numbers to satisfy their loans under the "crop-lien system." People moving west along the Oregon trail were faced with virtually the same problems faced by the European settlers 200 years before them. In response to these difficulties faced by million of Americans, Fraternal Benefit Societies, Mutual Benefit Associations, and Self Help Groups developed in the United States during this time to provide members with financial protection, a collective voice, and fraternal brotherhood.

The American fraternal benefit network began with the organization the Ancient Order of United Workmen in Meadville, Pennsylvania on October 27, 1868. The AOUW was founded by John Jordan Upchurch, a Mason, with the aim of adjusting "all differences which may arise between employers and employees, and to labor for the development of a plan of action that may be beneficial to both parties, based on the eternal truth that the interests of labor and capitol are equal and should receive equal protection." Each member paid $1 into the insurance fund to cover the sum of not less than $500 in benefits paid to a members dependents when he died. Each time a member died, $1 was due from the surviving members to reestablish the fund. Fraternal benefits societies soon became quite popular as a means of providing financial protection to working class people at an affordable rate. Additionally, Fraternal benefits societies typically maintained a lodge where members could meet together in a spirit of fraternalism and brotherhood. In at least one case - the Populist movement - the fraternity evolved into a powerful political organization providing a voice for their members."


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Updated Saturday, July 12 2014
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