Early DeMoulin Goat Riding Trike
This is the goats original shipping and storage crate with locking hasp.
The original shipping crate label is still intact!
Pictured above is the cover of the 1930 edition of the DeMoulin Bros. & Co. catalog titled "Burlesque and Side Degree Specialties, Paraphernalia and Costumes." We believe that this was the last fraternal supply catalog the DeMoulin Bros. produced, as this company suffered the same fate that many company's did with the onset of the Great Depression. In the broken economy of the 1930's, the items this company produced and sold were not considered a high priority on the "need or necessity" list of many Lodges. Today, the DeMoulin company survives as one of the largest manufacturers of high quality band uniforms. Below are pictured a few of the catalog pages depicting the various models available for the goat riding tricycles.
To see other DeMoulin Bros. Side Degree Paraphernalia (click here)
The goat cart pictured on this catalog page was the basic model... cheapest too!
Options could be added like iron or rubber tires... goats that spun in circles when you pushed them... even electrically charged stirrups to send a shock through the candidate. They could also be fitted with fountain sprayers to water down the rider!
These goat carts, made by DeMoulin Bros., were used by Lodges and Fraternal Groups during initiation ceremonies. An inductee would ride the goat blindfolded while being pushed around the room by Lodge members. The DeMoulin Bros. first product was made in 1892 and quickly became a popular item, especially with Woodmen and Odd Fellow Lodges. These particular goats were made circa 1905 (later goats had metal horns, these had real horns). The body is a solid block of wood, curved for comfortable seating. It measures 31" tail to head. The wood is covered with an actual wool pelt. The above pictured goat is in mint condition and comes with its original locking crate. The goat has a tail and button eyes. Hanging from either side are wood stirrups, each made of a solid piece of oak bent to shape. There is also a strap around the neck with the manufacturers small brass plaque riveted to it that reads "Manufactured by DeMoulin Bros. & Co., Greenville, Ill." A metal brace, 21" long, is bolted underneath the body. This attached the goat to an iron wheel(s) so it could be pushed (see the photos above of the actual DeMoulin catalogue pages which show the various models of the goat carts that they made). Another funny factory addition that came on the above goat is... underneath the front part of the body a duck call is mounted with a rubber hose and a squeeze bulb. When the candidate was being wheeled around, you could make the goat quack. This was just more feature that added to the "degree of laughter" early Lodge Brothers engaged in when initiating new members!
Here is a sample text of a goat riding initiation and how it was used in the Lodge:
The Goat is usually the first "stunt" introduced to a candidate; he is hoodwinked in ante-room and when he enters the Lodge room he is picked up and placed on the Goat and given a ride several times around the Lodge room and dismounted in front of the Chief Officer's Station, where he is presented for instructions.
CONDUCTOR - "Chief Officer, I present you Mr. Who is a candidate seeking the mysteries of our Order. He awaits your instructions."
"What is your name in full?"
"How old are you?"
"Are you single or married?"
(If married) "How many children have you?"
"What is your occupation?"
"Have you always been able to earn a good livelihood?"
"Do you consider yourself to be sound and in good health?"
"Have you a good appetite?"
"Do you eat meat?"
"Do you like butter?"
"Do you like soft or hard butter?"
(Candidate will say hard butter.)
"Very well, we will try and satisfy your appetite. We have the hardest and best butter in this section of the country. This butter has been tried by every candidate introduced, and they can all testify that he is a hard butter. Attendants, bring forth Billie, our hard butter, and administer some of his good qualities to our candidate."
(The Goat is brought in and the candidate is mounted and given a ride around the Lodge room, and finally returned and dismounted in front of Officer's Station, and the following is introduced if desired:)
OFFICER-"Well, sir, how do you like our butter?"
(Candidate is liable to say it's all right.)
OFFICER-"Now, my friend, you said, I believe, that you liked meat any old way. I am glad to know that you do, because we have an obligation in the way of a meat test which I will have to administer to you."
When Father Rode the Goat
For further reading on the Lodge goat-riding (click here)
A special "Thanks" from Brother Al Lohman, a 30 year collector and 30+ year Masonic Lodge member from Wisconsin. Al trades on eBay under the User ID "lochlohman"
We'd also like to "Thank" Brother Jerry Stotler ("jstot" on eBay) for contributing the catalog pages showing the various models of DeMoulin Trikes that were available.
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