• Image 1
  • Image 2
  • Image 3
  • Image 4
  • Tombstone with same markings
  • NJ Recruiting Poster, Odd Fellows Hall
  • "The Civil War Soldier - His Personal Items"
  • Museum
  • Museum
  • Time/Life book

Civil War Soldier's Sliding Mirror, soldier member of "Odd Fellows"

$125.00

Product Description

This is another very interesting artifact being offered; it is a Civil War soldier’s sliding shaving mirror. It is made of wood and measures 4 ½” x 2 ½” with a tiny hook on top for hanging. oval shaped and measures 3 ¾” x 2 ½”. When you slide it open, it reveals the mirror, because of its age, there is silver loss from the glass, but it is intact with no cracks. What is unique about this mirror is the carvings on the wood. On one side are the initials of the soldier “J.C” and on the other is “FLT” under three links of a chain, this standing for the “Independent Order of Odd Fellows”; also known as "The Three Link Fraternity" which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth. It was founded on April 26, 1819.

Many times, the FLT marking will be found on a flag holder, personal items or on a tombstone, with each letter in a link of a chain (see pictures). This is the described logo for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.). Probably the only fraternal organization that offers a death benefit to its members and has developed, supported, and maintained their own cemeteries and homes for the aged.

The Civil War shattered the IOOF in America; with so many men going off to war, the membership decreased, and many lodges were unable to continue their work, especially in the southern States (see a recruiting poster at one of their lodges). After the Civil War, with the beginning of industrialization, the deteriorating social circumstances brought large numbers of people to the IOOF and the lodges rallied.

A personal mirror was a necessity for every soldier, it would be needed for shaving and grooming. They had to be small enough to carry in a haversack or backpack. You will see examples in just about all of the Civil War museums (see pictures). I discuss these types of mirrors and soldier’s hygiene in my recent book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items” (see pictures). This is a rare personal item and I believe “JC” marked his mirror in case he was killed in battle, the Odd Fellows would provide for his burial.

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SKU:
0830194
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