Ünnecessary Ümlaut


A surplus of geekery by :: Fred Abercrombie

Cool: Fraternal Fist Bump, Circa 1890s

Could this be the first-ever documented fist bump?

Melissa at Blue Ribbon Salvage shared a treasure trove of amazing Masonic / fraternal badges and medallions. This one’s by far my fav.

According to Time Magazine and Wikipedia the fist bump (or Terrorist Fist Jab if you’re FOX) dates as far back as the 1970s. But this Modern Woodmen of America fist bump badge is circa 1890s(!)

UPDATE: Reader s0mewhereny clarified that the Woodmen are indeed fraternal not masonic. Which makes the Masonic Fist Bump actually a Fraternal Fist Bump.

Sure, it’s probably just a snapshot of what is probably an elaborate secret handshake that would put the NY Mets to shame. But still, it’s cool to see a relatively modern phenom in classic illustration.

Get it, “good order“?

• •   • •



Here’s a a simple example of how Blue Ribbon Salvage repurposes vintage medals into gorgeous jewelry …

See other “vintage bling, found and redeemed” in her collection here. And be sure to grab a box of Dangerous Parts for the Arts.

Video: Mets’ Santana Runs Elaborate Handshake Gauntlet
Beardo: Vintage Wax Mannequin Head Circa 1930
Gallery: Petaluma Rivertown Revival
Crafty: Drinks and Gifts at Etsy Party 1015 Folsom
Handmade Ho Down: Blue Ribbon Salvage & Local Artisans


4 Responses

  1. Bill O. says:

    I don’t get it. If this is a medal from the Modern Woodmen of America, why is it a Masonic fist bump?
    The Modern Woodmen of America founded by Joseph Root in 1883 is a fraternal benefit society that sells insurance to it’s members.
    The lodge system it used was loosely based on Freemasonry but has a different agenda altogether.

  2. Thanks, Bill.
    True. The Woodmen aren’t/weren’t masonic. As you know, they were actually a Life Insurance and Fraternal Benefit society. The Fist Bump, however, is obviously influenced by the founder’s freemason roots.

  3. Maggie says:

    We also have a medal/stickpin that is very old, two fist bumping and two gold tassels hanging off both ends. It attaches with a stick pin in the back. No engraving that we know of. I’m confused if this would be Modern Woodmen or Masons?

  4. Probably Modern Woodmen.

Leave a Reply