United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local Union No. 377, Alton. Original charter, October 16, 1899. MCHS archival document 2012-045.
Carpenters Union Local 664 of Wood River donated four original charters for area carpenters and joiners unions to the Madison County Historical Society in 2012. The ornate framed documents each measure approximately 18 x 30 inches.
Lady Liberty presides at the top of the document, above the clasped hands symbolizing union brotherhood. She is accompanied by a carpenter on the viewer’s left and a joiner on the right. Vignettes surrounding the text depict union leaders aiding an injured worker and his family, union advocacy for an 8-hour workday, and the progress in wood home construction achieved by the profession. In the emblem at center bottom, the rule and compass represent ideals of fairness and moral clarity. The Latin motto “labor omnia vincit” translates to “work conquers all.”
The clasped hands and emblem featured in the charter also appear on the UBC & J of A Local 378 fraternal ribbon pictured below.
Fraternal ribbon, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local Union No. 378, Edwardsville, front (left) and back. MCHS object 2019-028-0001.