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Catalog Number 13299-1-(2)
Title Plume, Helmet; Knights of Pythias Uniform Rank, Fred Gegner
Object Name Plume
Description Red and white feather plume. Feathers are attached to a thin, threaded metal rod that screws into a silver metal base. The base has a circular lower portion and a top that flares outward. The bottom of the base is shaped to attach to a helmet. On each side of the flared portion is a raised design of a lily.

The plume is contained in a fabric and red paper tube that is probably the original packaging.
Year Range from 1883
Year Range to 1915
Material Feathers/Metal
Used USA: Nebraska (Madison), Madison
Length (in) 10
People Gegner, Fred
History The Order of the Knights of Pythias is a non-sectarian fraternal organization founded in 1864 by Justus Rathbone. Named to honor the ancient friendship of the two Roman figures, Damon and Pythias, the Knights sought "to gather into one mighty fraternity, worthy men who appreciate the true meaning of friendship." The organization also offered financial benefits to its members in the event of sickness or disability, and death benefits to the families of deceased members.

The Uniform Rank within the Knights of Pythias developed in 1878 from various drill corps organized by members. They marched in parades and participated in other public functions. The emblem of the group was a lily. Though popular when first organized, membership dwindled throughout the first part of the twentieth century and the Uniform Rank was removed from its status as an official auxiliary circa 1950.

For more information see RG3679.AM: Knights of Pythias, Lodge #16 (Lincoln, Neb.) in the NSHS archives.
Credit line Gerry and Patsy Bley, McPherson, KS