This is a charming 19th century toleware black ball ballot box, with balls, in the form of a one room schoolhouse, said to originate from Mishawaka, Indiana. Thought to have been used by the 'Daughters of America Lodge', the voting box retains its original black and reddish-orange paint. Groups such as Masonic Lodges, fraternities and sororities used a special form of voting for suitable or acceptable new members. This involved the process of 'black- balling'. A secret ballot was undertaken with each participant using a white or black ball to register acceptance or rejection. In this example, the balls were dropped down the chimney into the drawer below. In good condition, with minimal paint loss at one bent corner, some slight fading and light surface rust on the bottom. Length 7 ins (17.75cm), depth 4 ins (10.25cm), maximum height 7 ins (18cm). Weight 574 grams. This item can be seen in my book, "Antique Boxes, Inside and Out" on page 195.
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