Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Damon and Pythias
The old Greek legend of Damon and Pythias symbolizes trust and loyalty in a true friendship.

Two wooden frames measuring 22" x 4" (56 x 10 cm !)with five image on glass in each. Together, these two slides tell the complete story of Damon and Pythias. The labels indicate the set was "Copyrighted 1893 by The M.C. Lilley & Co., Columbus, Ohio."
The story.

Pythias and his friend Damon travelled to Syracuse where Pythias was accused of plotting against the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius I. As punishment for this crime, he was sentenced to death.

Pythias accepted his sentence, but asked to be allowed to return home one last time, to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Of course Dionysius refused, believing that once released, Pythias would flee and never come back.

Pythias called for his friend Damon and asked him to take his spot while he went. Dionysius agreed, on the condition that, should Pythias not return, Damon would be put to death in his place. Damon agreed, and Pythias was released.

As the day Pythias promised to return came and went, Dionysius prepared to execute Damon. But just as the executioner raised his axe to kill Damon, Pythias returned, apologizing to his friend for his delay.

Pirates had captured his ship on the passage back to Syracuse and had thrown him overboard. Dionysius listened attentively to Pythias as he described how he swam to shore and made his way back to Syracuse as quickly as possible, arriving just in the nick of time to save his friend.

Dionysius was so taken with the friends' trust and loyalty, that he freed both Damon and Pythias, and kept them on as counsel to his court.

Damon and Pythias go on to lead long and happy lives. When Pythias dies, he is welcomed into heaven.....

The most dramatic moment.

Four of a set of sixteen early magic lantern slides used in the lecture of the Knights of Pythias ranks. Manufactured by the DE MOULIN Brothers. & Co. Greenville, Ill.
Striking hand coloured lithographed slides, dating from c. 1875 and  used by the Knights of Pythias.
Framed in mahogany. Slides are numbered 2 -11. Size 7" x 4", glass: 3" diameter.
These slides are framed in mahogany and hand painted. c. 1880. They retain the original labels and maker's stamp from the Pettibone Mfg. Co. Cincinati, Ohio. Size 7 x 4 x 3/8" Glass: 3" diameter.


Another set made by Pettibone Mfg. Co. Cincinati, Ohio, this time produced as a Revolving Disc, holding a series of 10 circular slides in a large, spoked wheel.

These discs were exclusively made for there striking magic lanterns with revolving discs. That disc with its brightly coloured pictures gave this lantern its popular nickname of the "peacock", because of the resemblance to a peacock that has fanned out its tail.


Extraordinary triple 4" x 14.5" (10cm x 36cm) wood-mount magic lantern slide. The three circular glass images are 3.25" in diameter and are held in the frame by  metal rings. The slide images were copyright 1894 by M.C. Lilley & Company of Columbus, Ohio. The three individual pictures tell a complete story.

"K. of P. Third Rank - Sixth Senator - No. 1. The Deadly Conflict."
Perhaps one of the warriors is Pythias, and his opponent is Damon. Maybe this sequence of images was intended as an introduction to the actual story of Damon and Pythias, showing just how the two became such fast friends. When Pythias is wounded, Damon does not kill him, but takes care of his enemy.

"K. of P. Third Rank - Sixth Senator - No. 2. The Fallen Soldier."

"K. of P. Third Rank - Sixth Senator - No. 3. The Wounded Soldier Assisted."
The Knights of Pythias

The Fraternal Order of Knights of Pythias is an international fraternity founded in 1864 by Justus H. Rathbone. Its lodges in the United States and Canada today number more than 2000. Justus Henry Rathbone founded the Order in response to the anger, hatred, and revenge that was prevalent during the Civil War era. He believed that the embers of brotherly love inspired by the old Pythagorean Brotherhood still lay deep in the hearts of men. He believed that this spirit could be revitalized and a new fraternity founded, one in which men would gather under one common banner. This fraternity would be based upon the trinity of Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence, and would proclaim "Peace on Earth, Good will toward men."

Friendship, Charity, Benevolence.

The fraternity's roots are in the story of the friendship of Damon and Pythias, historical characters who lived about four hundred or more years before the beginning of the Christian era. They were members of a school, founded by Pythagoras, who was known as the father of Greek philosophy.

The object of the organization was the moral uplifting and purification of society. Strict morality, absolute truthfulness, honour and integrity were thoroughly inculcated in the minds of its membership. It was a maxim of Pythagoras that the two most excellent things for man were "to speak the truth and to render benefits to each other" The outstanding feature of the society, however, was the marvellous friendship and loyalty which bound the brotherhood together with hoops of steel, which was so remarkably demonstrated in the incident which forms the historic basis of the order.

Lantern slide of another "Knights of Pythias" emblem with skull and crossbones. The image measures about 3" square and fits in a 7" x 4" frame.
Five from a set of eleven standard 3" circular glass images mounted in 4" x 7" hardwood frames. The slides were made by the M.C. Lilley Company of Columbus, Ohio, and are copyright 1892.

Four slides of a larger set, K. of  P. 3rd Rank.
Two slides made by M.C. Lilley & Co. Columbus. Ohio in a wooden frame. Labels on the edge read: Hour of execution, and Pythias at the execution block. Sizes 7" x 4".
A large collection of 47 magic lantern slides that came from a Knights of Pythias lodge. Each slide measures 7" x 4''.
  Nederlandse versie......  What's new on this site?  Manual for this website.... 1997-2021 'de Luikerwaal'
All rights reserved.
Last update: 02-06-2021.
Top of page......