Browse Our Collection - Online

(Local History, Genealogy) Permanent link

One of the best parts of working in the history room is getting to know the collection and all of the wonderful items in it. There’s only one problem. Sadly, people just don’t come in and say “Hey, show me something really cool,” so some of my favorite things don’t get as much attention as I feel they deserve. However, that’s all about to change. We are now making selected items completely accessible through our website, and will be scouring the history room for great things to share in the coming months.

Our first offering is a catalog from the Henderson-Ames Company of Kalamazoo that dates back about 100 years. It contains products exclusively for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Henderson-Ames boldly claimed, “We are ready to show any Lodge, that the great values which have made us the leaders for many years in the manufacture of Odd Fellow Regalia, Costumes, etc., are increased in this the most complete catalog ever published.” There’s no way to know if their assertion was correct, but with 134 pages of everything from false beards to grave markers, they couldn’t have been far off. Enjoy flipping through the catalog, and be sure to check out the large color images of costumes that begin on page 71.


IOOF catalog

Posted by Beth Timmerman at 12/21/2012 01:05:19 PM | 

I was trying to see what year the catalog was from. I did a blog post about the 1879 Kalamazoo County Fair in which Frank Henderson displayed an impressive selection of his regalia. The Kal. Telegraph said that his reputation was wide spread and that he received orders from across the country. It's fun to see what some of the articles looked like.
Posted by: Sonja ( Email | Visit ) at 12/11/2012 11:40 PM

The catalog is undated, but I believe it is probably from the early 1910s. There are sample receipts between pages 56 and 57 that have a date line that is printed with 191___.
Posted by: Beth ( Email ) at 12/12/2012 9:14 AM

Wow Beth this is so much fun! Your right sometimes it can be hard to come down to the history room and check stuff out. I really enjoyed virtually flipping through this catalog! Hope to see more of this. So interactive
Posted by: Angelina ( Email ) at 12/18/2012 6:21 PM

An interesting figure to keep in mind is that in 1910, $1.00 was about the same as $23.77 was in 2011. Those are some expensive beards!
Posted by: Jacob Ewing ( Email ) at 12/26/2012 7:48 PM

This was so interesting I loved it. Please do more. The prices were hard to make out, loved the color pics.
Posted by: Laurel ( Email ) at 12/29/2012 12:59 PM

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