The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 8, February 20, 2022, Article 10


Carol Bastable writes:

"I found a seller on eBay that has a glut of Masonic penny dies as well as all sorts of dies and stamps for various fraternal organizations, military, medals, advertising, and jewelry making items. There were so many items that I never got to the end after scrolling through them for 45 minutes to an hour. This could be a real find for some of the readers."

Thanks. Here's one sample lot Carol pointed out. -Editor

  Rosedale, Kansas Masonic penny die Rosedale, Kansas Masonic penny die reversed

From the archives of MC Lilley, this listing is for an antique stamping die used to make a Masonic Penny for the following Royal Arch Mason Chapter:

Chapter: Rosedale Chapter No. 95
Location: Rosedale, Kansas
S/N age of die: S/N #2905 dates to 1916-1917
Dimensions: 1 ? maximum diameter x 1 ¼ high
Weight: 7+ oz
Condition: Excellent

To read the complete lot description, see:
1916 ROSEDALE KS Chapter 95 RAM MASONIC PENNY Stamping Die * MC Lilley (

To view the seller's other items, see:

Here's some more information about M. C. Lilley & Company. Is anyone aware of the location of their archives? Clearly the old dies and stock have been sold off, but do company records survive in some University or historical society holdings? -Editor

  M. C. Lilley & Company building postcard

From modest beginnings in 1864, the M. C. Lilley & Company eventually became world renowned as manufacturers of regalia. The company was founded by four leading citizens of Columbus, Ohio all veterans of the Civil War. They were Mitchell Campbell Lilley, John Siebert and brothers, Charles and Henry Lindenberg. All four men were members of the Odd Fellows and published the Odd Fellows Companion, a publication of the fraternal organization. Through this newsletter they received many requests from people wanting to purchase regalia. They decided to produce the items themselves and thus a company was born. The Lilley Company produced swords, banners, flags, emblems and uniforms for fraternal societies and organizations such as the Masons, Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias, as well as police and military uniforms. Beginning in a small building at 253 South High Street, the Company eventually grew to occupy several large buildings at the corner of East Long and North 6th Streets.

Items produced by the Company can be roughly dated by the changes in the Company's name. From 1865 to 1881 the name was the M. C. Lilley & Co.. In 1882 after the death Of Mr. Lilley the name changed to The M. C. Lilley & Co. and remained such until 1925 when it was shortened to The Lilley Co.. The Company was merged with the Henderson-Ames Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1931 and the name was changed to The Lilley-Ames Company until 1951 when it was sold to C. E. Ward. It operated under the name of Lilley Ames Co. until 1953. It went out of business in 1965.

I was unfamiliar with this company, but it was quite the business in its day. The postcard describes the company as "The World's Famous Regalia House" and supplier of "Military & Secret Society Goods".

I found no mentions of M. C. Lilley & Co. in our E-Sylum archives and only a handful of mentions on the Newman Numismatic Portal, including an October 2015 Numismatist article by Dave Schenkman. Can anyone point us to more information? One possible source could be the below dissertation, which indicates there were multiple regalia manufacturers serving the secret societies. -Editor

Dave Schenkman adds:

"I've seen quite a few dies such as these on eBay over the years. Some types are more collected than others. In the 1960s thousands of old trade token dies from a Philadelphia die sinker (Quint) came on the market. I purchased the Virginia token dies."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Fraternal Regalia in America, 1865 to 1918: Dressing the Lodges; Clothing the Brotherhood (

To read the complete article, see:
M. C. Lilley & Company building postcard image (

  MDC Monaco E-Sylum ad 2022-02-13 E-Sale 2

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:


Copyright © 1998 - 2021 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster