Secret Societies have been around since who knows when. They were there at the beginning of the United States -even George Washington was a freemason. But the "Golden Age of Fraternalism" was in the mid-19th century. These fraternal organizations were exclusionary by nature, but the excluded groups, minorities and women, formed their own clubs. They had secret rituals, uniforms, and artwork. Elaborate, detailed artwork, much of which is presented in the book As Above, So Below: Art of the American Fraternal Society 1850-1930. You can see a collection of the imagery from the book, including photographs, sculpture, banners, magic lantern slides, paintings, and more at Atlas Obscura.
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