Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
A Pictorial Catalog of
Commemorative Flagholders & Plaques
 of Organizations & Military
 Jr. Order of United American Mechanics
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Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
 of Military and Organizations
as Photographed by Joyce M. Tice 

Jr. Order of United American Mechanics
More Memorabilia
Sent in by Creig Crippen

Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice How to Use This Site Contact Joyce Flagholder Table of Contents
Related and similar organizations - See Also  JOUAM Flagholders
Order of United American Mechanics Daughters of America Daughters of Liberty Sons & Daughters of Liberty Patriotic Order, Sons of Liberty

 The Jr, OAUM marker is fairly frequently found in this part of New York State. It was founded in Philadelphia in 1853 as a junior section of the Order of United American Mechanics. It became an independent secret society by 1885 with its fundamental purpose directed at keeping undesirable foreigners out of the country. It considered German, Irish and Roman Catholic persons as among those undesirables and it concentrated its rituals on religious "principals." At the point of its 1885 separation from the OUAM, the Jr. in its name no longer signified age and Mechanics had nothing to do with members' occupations.

Over time, JOUAM changed its ideology and requirements so that Jews, non-whites, and Roman Catholics could join, and women were also accepted as members. It is hard to understand why groups that were formerly targeted by this organization would want to join it.

Over more time it became primarily a legal reserve, fraternal  life insurance society. It also eventually absorbed its parent UAM. In 1900 the order had 200,000 members and that was reduced to 8,500 by 1975.

Its ideology is the same as the Daughters of America which is a sister organization. See DOA for that listing.

(Source: Greenwood Encyclopedia of .... Fraternal Organizations, Alvin J. Schmidt, Greenwood Press, 1980, pp 171-172)

Some of the insignia on the JOUAM flagholder are reminiscent of the Masonic symbols, but it is not a related organization. The following note is from the Masonic webmaster/librarian in response to my question about the insignia.
Dear Ms. Tice,
    Thank you for writing.  The engraving you describe belongs to the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, founded in 1853.  Its purpose was to
promote the reading of the Bible while preventing sectarian influences in public schools.  The OUAM admitted both men and women as members.  They
"borrowed" the square and compasses from Freemasonry, but added the arm and hammer to the center.  You may want to contact the New York Public Library, as I believe they have some documents from the Order.

Sincerely, Thomas M. Savini

This four inch badge belonged ot Eugene Crippen of 
Elmira and Roseville
This eight inch badge belonged ot Eugene Crippen of 
Elmira and Roseville

Introduction on Flagholder Section Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia Obtaining Present Day Flagholders

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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