Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
The P.E.O. Sisterhood was founded in 1869 as a seven member sorority at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Officially, the letters PEO stand for Philanthropic Educational Organization. However, the original meaning of the letters has remained a sorority secret since their founding 150 years ago.
“P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women CELEBRATE the advancement of women; EDUCATE women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College and MOTIVATE women to achieve their highest aspirations.” from the PEO International website
This cast iron trivet measures 9 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ with 3 feet. On the face are the letters PEO. The handle is a Marguerite daisy, the P.E.O.’s official flower. The star above the lettering is the organization’s emblem. The reverse is flat (without backcoping) and unsigned.
The feet on this trivet are relatively short (under 1”) and there are no visible casting marks. For those reasons I suspect it was produced after WW2.
While researching my first book in 2002, I wrote to the P.E.O. Executive Office in Des Moines, Iowa asking for information on this trivet. Here’s the reply I received from Anne S. Pettygrove, their Chief Administrative Officer at the time.
P.E.O. has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm the origins of the trivet in question. It could have perhaps been sold as a fundraiser for a local chapter, or sold as a souvenir at a state convention. We do not require states to register these items with us, so there is no definite way to know. I’m sorry that I cannot be of more help in solving this mystery for you
I gave this trivet to my friend Mary Claire, a P.E.O. member. Soon I’ll be presenting a program to her GL Florida Chapter about trivets and other laundry day collectibles. I’m sure they’ll all enjoy seeing her P.E.O. trivet!
PS: I still hope to discover this trivet’s origin and history. Where and when was it made? Should you have any information, please Contact Me.
Argyranthemum Marguerite, Marguerite daisy.
Artist Unknown. 1914 Public Domain.
Carolyn Curl writes: “This trivet was sold in the mid 70s by a chapter located in a suburb of Chicago. I’m sorry, I don’t know the (PEO) chapter letters. My trivet was given to me by the mother of a friend. Both are deceased.”
Thanks to Carolyn for this lead. I’ll contact the Illinois PEO, identify any Chicago area chapters that were active in the 1970s, and see where that leads.