Like many fraternal organizations, the UCT had an internal organization develop, that only members of the UCT could join. The Ancient Mystic Order of Bagmen of Bagdad (sic) – sometimes referred to as AMOB or AMOBB – was founded in 1895 in Ohio as the “fun” and burial insurance arm of the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America. There were 6,000 Bagmen in 1994.
Today, the Ancient Mystic Order of Bagmen of Bagdad is variously seen as a “fun” organization and as the “inner circle” of the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America. Members dress up in pseudo-Arab costume and fezzes for parades (though they do not parade very much, anymore), but the organization also provides the more sober service of funding burial of deceased members. Membership has fluctuated through the years, about 4,000 in the mid-1960s, about 6,600 in the mid-1970s, and about 6,000 a decade later. At one time, there were rituals which may have been in use into the 1970s.
This fez is believe to have been a basic members fez. Internet and archival searches haven’t turned up much infomration on where Comus chapter would have been located. The fez is white, with tarnished silver bullion and a blue tassel. Our guess is that it dates prior to the 1950’s. The structure of the Order isn’t well documented. Research shows that a local President would have been styled a “Grand Ruler,” while the national head of the organization is called the “Imperial Ruler.”