Knights of Pythias Buckle and buttons

oldmxrat

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Tired of digging clad and pull tabs, so I decided to go find something a bit more interesting. Went up into the mountains on this beautiful sunny day and looked along one of the old rail beds.

Got a couple of big iron signals like railroad spikes and even ox shoes. Then I got a real loud high tone that was super strong. Only a couple inches under the surface was this Knights of Pythias Uniform Rank belt buckle.

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Kept looking around the area and dug a few old tobacco cans, then found the K of P buttons. Also found some other clothing hardware.

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Not sure of the age of these, so any input is welcome!
 
Upvote 19

Digger RJ

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Tired of digging clad and pull tabs, so I decided to go find something a bit more interesting. Went up into the mountains on this beautiful sunny day and looked along one of the old rail beds.

Got a couple of big iron signals like railroad spikes and even ox shoes. Then I got a real loud high tone that was super strong. Only a couple inches under the surface was this Knights of Pythias Uniform Rank belt buckle.

View attachment 1993739 View attachment 1993740 View attachment 1993741

Kept looking around the area and dug a few old tobacco cans, then found the K of P buttons. Also found some other clothing hardware.

View attachment 1993744 View attachment 1993745 View attachment 1993746

Not sure of the age of these, so any input is welcome!
Cool!!! Congrats!!!
 

Hunk-a-lead

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Tired of digging clad and pull tabs, so I decided to go find something a bit more interesting. Went up into the mountains on this beautiful sunny day and looked along one of the old rail beds.

Got a couple of big iron signals like railroad spikes and even ox shoes. Then I got a real loud high tone that was super strong. Only a couple inches under the surface was this Knights of Pythias Uniform Rank belt buckle.

View attachment 1993739 View attachment 1993740 View attachment 1993741

Kept looking around the area and dug a few old tobacco cans, then found the K of P buttons. Also found some other clothing hardware.

View attachment 1993744 View attachment 1993745 View attachment 1993746

Not sure of the age of these, so any input is welcome!
awesome buckle, cleaned up very nicely. Well done indeed
 

DizzyDigger

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Nice.

That buckle came out of the ground in amazingly clean condition. :icon_thumright:
 

Georgivs

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Awesome! I found one just like it last year. Also found the hilt of a KOP sword, and a hat device. I'm hoping the rest of the sword is still out there.
 
OP
oldmxrat

oldmxrat

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Awesome! I found one just like it last year. Also found the hilt of a KOP sword, and a hat device. I'm hoping the rest of the sword is still out there.
Nice! I was hoping that sword would be around there somewhere. I dug every signal within a 50 foot circle! Any idea of the age of the buckle?
 

BuckleBoy

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Really cool find! Backmarks on those buttons would nail down the date range. My hunch is 1880-1910. Can you see the backmarks on the buttons?
 
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oldmxrat

oldmxrat

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Really cool find! Backmarks on those buttons would nail down the date range. My hunch is 1880-1910. Can you see the backmarks on the buttons?
The backs are gone from both buttons.
 

Red-Coat

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Very cool items.

The date for the buckle can be nailed down a bit, I think. It has a maker mark for “The Pettibone Mfg. Co.”

It’s not a well-documented company but most sources agree it was established in Cincinnati in 1872 by James Pettibone, after he took over John Boner’s military goods store where he had previously worked as a clerk. At some point in time, the company changed name to “Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co.”

Many sources (probably all feeding off the same incorrect assumption) say this refers to James’ brother (actually his half-brother) William C Pettibone joining the business, but that doesn’t fit with their known genealogy. William C died in 1879, and the name change to include reference to “brothers” happened at least 12 years after that. It was certainly in use after James died in 1903, but he came from a large family and the business may have been inherited by other “Pettibones”.

Nevertheless, from their patent applications, catalogues and other publications (some dated and some not) it can be said that the company was still using the name “The Pettibone Mfg. Co.” until at least 1892 but had changed to “Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co.” by 1905. There is a dated publication for 1892 that has no reference to “brothers” in the company name and a publication believed to be c.1892 with the “brothers” reference, so that seems to be a possible approximate cut-off date for the name change.

That would potentially put the buckle between 1872-c.1892 (and definitely not later than 1905).
 
Last edited:

pepperj

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Very nice indeed on the recovery of the buckle and buttons.
The one pic of the button is blurry (#4) have you another picture of the button that could share?
 

ajaj

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Cool buckle! I feel sorry for people with a lisp pronouncing it.

aj
 

BuckleBoy

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Very cool items.

The date for the buckle can be nailed down a bit, I think. It has a maker mark for “The Pettibone Mfg. Co.”

It’s not a well-documented company but most sources agree it was established in Cincinnati in 1872 by James Pettibone, after he took over John Boner’s military goods store where he had previously worked as a clerk. At some point in time, the company changed name to “Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co.”

Many sources (probably all feeding off the same incorrect assumption) say this refers to James’ brother (actually his half-brother) William C Pettibone joining the business, but that doesn’t fit with their known genealogy. William C died in 1879, and the name change to include reference to “brothers” happened at least 12 years after that. It was certainly in use after James died in 1903, but he came from a large family and the business may have been inherited by other “Pettibones”.

Nevertheless, from their patent applications, catalogues and other publications (some dated and some not) it can be said that the company was still using the name “The Pettibone Mfg. Co.” until at least 1892 but had changed to “Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co.” by 1905. There is a dated publication for 1892 that has no reference to “brothers” in the company name and a publication believed to be c.1892 with the “brothers” reference, so that seems to be a possible approximate cut-off date for the name change.

That would potentially put the buckle between 1872-c.1892 (and definitely not later than 1905).
Excellent research my friend!
 
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oldmxrat

oldmxrat

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Very cool items.

The date for the buckle can be nailed down a bit, I think. It has a maker mark for “The Pettibone Mfg. Co.”

It’s not a well-documented company but most sources agree it was established in Cincinnati in 1872 by James Pettibone, after he took over John Boner’s military goods store where he had previously worked as a clerk. At some point in time, the company changed name to “Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co.”

Many sources (probably all feeding off the same incorrect assumption) say this refers to James’ brother (actually his half-brother) William C Pettibone joining the business, but that doesn’t fit with their known genealogy. William C died in 1879, and the name change to include reference to “brothers” happened at least 12 years after that. It was certainly in use after James died in 1903, but he came from a large family and the business may have been inherited by other “Pettibones”.

Nevertheless, from their patent applications, catalogues and other publications (some dated and some not) it can be said that the company was still using the name “The Pettibone Mfg. Co.” until at least 1892 but had changed to “Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co.” by 1905. There is a dated publication for 1892 that has no reference to “brothers” in the company name and a publication believed to be c.1892 with the “brothers” reference, so that seems to be a possible approximate cut-off date for the name change.

That would potentially put the buckle between 1872-c.1892 (and definitely not later than 1905).
Thank you, I was hoping that you would respond. I appreciate it very much!
 
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oldmxrat

oldmxrat

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Very nice indeed on the recovery of the buckle and buttons.
The one pic of the button is blurry (#4) have you another picture of the button that could share?
 

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Georgivs

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Nice! I was hoping that sword would be around there somewhere. I dug every signal within a 50 foot circle! Any idea of the age of the buckle?
The Uniformed Ranks were dissolved in the 50's but I think the stuff I found was late 1800's early 1900's based on other things found at the site. I found a knights of columbus gold ring and a masonic medallion at the same site, apparently it was a big meeting place for fraternal orders. Here is a website I found when researching the sword. http://kophistory.com/urkp/swords/index.htm
 
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oldmxrat

oldmxrat

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The Uniformed Ranks were dissolved in the 50's but I think the stuff I found was late 1800's early 1900's based on other things found at the site. I found a knights of columbus gold ring and a masonic medallion at the same site, apparently it was a big meeting place for fraternal orders. Here is a website I found when researching the sword. http://kophistory.com/urkp/swords/index.htm
See Red coat's response above, if yours has a Pettibone makers mark you can nail it down pretty close.
 

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