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September 09, 2010


Aimee Newell

Hi Joseph: Thanks for sharing your find with us! It sounds to me like this was the Canadian version of the MPA - a separate insurance company in Canada that worked the same way and provided these fobs to its customers. You might check with a museum or library in Quebec to see if they have information on the Protective Association of Canada. Good luck! Aimee Newell, Director of Collections


Hey there, I recently found one in an an antique shop and purchased it, but it reads at the top "The protective association of Canada, Granby, Que.
Pays sickness and accident indemnity to masons only"
On the back is the message
"Telegraph this number to the P.A of C.
It will identify me if injured or unconscious"
Any information on where it came from and how it comes to be in Canada here?

Aimee Newell

Hi George: Thanks so much for sharing the information about your fob with us. They are fascinating! I hope that someday we might find more records relating to them. Thanks again,
Aimee Newell

George R. McKinney

Just found your website: I have fob number 134819 that was given to me by my sister-in-law from Virginia. I am a 32 degree mason and Shriner in the Jacksonville Fl area.

Aimee Newell

Hello Robert:
Thanks so much for reading our blog and sharing the story of your grandfather's fob! It is wonderful to be able to match the person and the number. Which shape is yours? Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Robert Nicholls

looks like these fobs were mostly in the northeast, so I thought you would like to know that #399465 was my Grandfather who was born in Washington Territory and was a Mason in early Washington State, in the late 1800's Milton Nicholls.

Aimee Newell

Hi Karen: Thanks for reading our blog and commenting. We always like to hear about fobs that are still around. I'm glad our post was useful for you! Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Karen Stout

I have a heart-shaped fob on a key ring with some old, skeleton keys that used to belong to my grandfather. Thank you for posting as I did wonder what the fob was.

Aimee Newell

Hi Justin: Thanks so much for reading our blog and commenting. I am always fascinated to hear about the discovery of another fob! I hope that the information here was helpful. Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

justin berry

I have just recently come in possession of one of these. The fellow I received it from had it in a box of junk, with my grandfather being a 32° mason and a shriner, I knew what it was and quickly asked him if he would get rid of it. He told me I could just have it so here I am now .

Aimee Newell

Hello Jonathan: Thanks for reading our blog and commenting. We are always interested in hearing about more fobs. I don't have an easy answer about the keys. I know that there was some clockmaking in Terryville, CT, so perhaps they went to some kind of clock case? It's hard to know, though, without more information. We also had a trunk on loan to us for a while that was made in Terryville and had a lock. If anyone else has ideas, please chime in! Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Jonathan Stockmal

I found one of the fobs mentioned that is heart shaped inscribed on one side The Massachusetts Protective Association Inc. Worcester, Mass. And on the other side the ID #381376. It is on a ring that is stamped with two words, the first is not legible and the second is Hartford. There are two odd keys with it that are both stamped Terryville, Conn. USA on one side and numbered 16J0X625 and 16J0X349 on the other. I always wondered about them.

Aimee Newell

Hello Patricia: Thanks so much for reading our blog and commenting. I wish that the records still existed to tell us more about who owned these fobs! At least you can link yours to a family member; most of ours are just mysteries. Again - thanks for letting us know about yours; I'm glad that our blog was helpful. Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Patricia Maxwell

I found one of these Masonic fobs (like the one on the left) among items inherited from my great-grandfather, Walter Hines Ponder. The number inscribed on it is 299458. I'd thought I might be able to match it definitively to him, but see this isn't possible. Regardless, I do appreciate this site which tells a bit more about these small keepsakes.

Aimee Newell

Hi Dorothy: Thanks so much for reading our blog and letting us know about your fob. We recently purchased a couple of new ones to supplement the ones shown here, but we still don't know who originally owned them - you are lucky to have that history intact with yours! Thanks again for sharing your comment with us. Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Dorothy Estelle

I have a fob identical to the first one above that has remained in the family. It belonged to my gr-gr grandfather who died in 1910 at the Masonic home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Aimee Newell

Hello Helen: Thanks for reading our blog and commenting. I'm glad that this post was helpful. It is always interesting to hear about another fob. Good luck with identifying those keys! Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Helen Hendrick

I found a set of odd keys after my mom passed, my grandfather was a mason and worked for Bell Systems, it became Southern Bell, Bell South now AT&T, its an oval fob, one side reads MASONIC MUTUAL ACCIDENT CO. SPRINGFIELD MASS. PAYS SICKNESS AND ACCIDENT INDEMNITY the other side TELEGRAPH THIS NUMBER TO THE M.M.A.C.O. 66542 IT WILL IDENTIFY ME IF INJURED OR UNCONSCIOUS really happy finding your post on these, now if I just knew what all the keys went to, looks like an odd assortment of hand-cuff keys and padlock keys. their old whatever they fit

Aimee Newell

Thanks for sharing, Victoria! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. It is always interesting to hear about other fobs. You are lucky to know who your fob belonged to! Thanks again for reading our blog and commenting. Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

Victoria Carleton

Very interesting information! I have a fob that belonged to my uncle, Wilbur Twining #177387 who was employed by the railroad. The fob says "masons only". A unique piece of history!

Aimee Newell

Hello George: Thanks for reading our blog and commenting. I'm jealous that you know so much about who owned your fob! I wish we knew more about the ones in our collection. Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

George Albert West

I have one of the M.P.A. fobs. It belonged to my grandfather, Albert Conwell (#65079) He was the Station Agent for the M.K.&T Railroad (Katy)in Holden Mo. from about 1918 until he passed away in 1926. I also have his Rail Road pocket watch. It was manufactured by the Ball Watch Co. in about 1919.

0 Holden Mo. He was the Station Agent in Holden Mo. for the MK&T (Katy)

Aimee Newell

Hi Ron: Thanks so much for reading our blog and commenting. I am fascinated that you were able to find that reference. The MPA went through some evolutions in its history and it may have started earlier - or perhaps the reference you found is to another group with a similar name. The MPA was not the only one in the business at the time. I will look forward to learning more - if you find more information or if any other readers find new information. This is how we build up our knowledge! Thanks again for the comment. Aimee Newell, Director of Collections


I noticed in the above article it says that the Masonic Protective Association was formed in 1895. I am currently going through the history and meeting minutes of my Lodge and found that in 1892 the Grand Lodge of Ohio stated that "we are now members of the Masonic Protective Association of United States and Canada." This is a couple years before the article says they were formed. Interesting.

Aimee Newell

Hi Amber: It's always hard to comment without seeing the object, but I think that "I.O.O.F." probably refers to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal group similar to Freemasonry. The fob probably worked the same way as the Masonic ones pictured here, just for a member of the Odd Fellows instead. Thanks for reading our blog and commenting! Aimee Newell, Director of Collections

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