Masonic celebration

Masonic celebration

I really fell in love with this photo when I first saw it. This is an 8×10 black & white glossy photograph of about 30 men in tuxedoes and Masonic regalia. Having no knowledge of the Masons except that it is an ancient order, at first I wasn’t sure it was indeed a photo of Masons. But, looking around right quick, I found this wonderful image which confirmed the type of regalia these men are wearing is in fact Masonic.

Harry S. Truman, Grand Master 1940-41, Image courtesy of U. S. National Archives & Records Administration

This is former President of the United States Harry Truman. The necklace he is wearing (if in fact it is called a necklace) is very similar to the ones in the upper image. In the 8×10 above, you can see that some of the medals displayed are in a simple triangle shape, and others are in a shape that I am calling a wonky diamond – it’s the shape created from a compass on top and a square rule on the bottom.

Basic Masonic “wonky diamond”

There is so much to know about this organization. Entire textbooks have been written just about their history. They date back many hundreds of years and claim many famous and influential people as members. Indeed, members often are found in the ruling offices of nearly every country, parliaments, senates and congresses, colleges and universities. They are sports stars, explorers and adventurers, musicians and actors. While some people keep their membership secret, others are loud and proud of being a Mason. There are so many going back through the centuries that Wikipedia has quite helpfully provided a list, in alphabetical order. :-)

For other people, adorned in medals, jewelry and other types of accoutrement, click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

All things beautiful

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25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gluepot
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 15:21:05

    I found a similar freemason’s mark on a gravestone in a photo of a cemetery on the Western Front, and a possible “heart and hand” freemason’s mark on the back of a carte de visite. Presumably the photographer was using this symbol to attract custon from other members of the fraternity.


  2. autumnmiss
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 03:31:10

    im new to your blog and think its great. I have a whole photo album of unknown people. I love the mystery but like to find out more ab out them too.
    Gill x


    • Mrs Marvel
      Jun 16, 2013 @ 08:29:43

      Welcome and thank you!


      • Janice Earliene Carr
        Jun 20, 2013 @ 17:07:22

        I just noticed the Symbol above ( had not noticed it when I began my note (letter, ha!) That looks exactly what is at the end of the chain on the watch that I was talking about. I’ll have my son take a picture of it to send you, if you’d like? Thanks for all your previous answers. I discovered a lot from “Who Are They?”Again thanks!

  3. Boobook
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 04:28:55

    Accoutrement is a wonderful word.


  4. Bob Scotney
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 06:55:54

    No mistaking that they are masons. The one to the right of the picture should have got rid of his cigarette.


  5. postcardy
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 07:05:23

    I never hear anything current about Masons. Maybe they just don’t like publicity.


  6. Karen S.
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 08:28:49

    Yes, even the men knew how to do it right!


  7. Wendy
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 09:53:07

    It’s ironic that men typically don’t “do jewelry” in their daily lives but boy, put ‘em in a club and they go to town with some regalia!


  8. Jackie
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 12:04:11

    Interesting selection!! I got interested in the Masons when I read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.


  9. kristin
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 15:21:00

    My father-in-law was a mason and they did a whole ceremony thing at his funeral.

    Funny we were just talking about “Accoutrement” around there recently.


  10. Little Nell
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 10:13:40

    I have family members who are masons and I believe there is more to it than we can assume. Thank you for the ‘wonky’ description – and for giving me the idea for the prompt.


  11. Tattered and Lost
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 21:46:18

    The handshake. I’ve always tried to find out about the handshake. Nobody will show it to me.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Jun 17, 2013 @ 10:13:47

      I can still remember my sorority handshake from college. I haven’t used it once since 1992 but it’s like it’s burned in my hand’s memory, lol.


  12. Deb Gould
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 10:50:39

    Those Masons! Great selection on the topic of jewelry, too — it doesn’t matter WHO wears it, does it? Lots of Masons around here — I have a little book that seems to be printed in some kind of code: somebody told me it was a Masonic text!


  13. grammaa
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 21:18:01

    Did you know that Grandpa George was a Mason. I don’t know how many years, but it was quite a long time – he made it to the highest division. It took several years and there was studying or classes of some kind. Gram belonged to the Auxuiliary – it was strictly social. I really know very little about what he did.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Jun 21, 2013 @ 08:46:13

      I didn’t know this! Did U. Chuck wind up with his regalia? Who knows where it is now, I suppose.


  14. Janice Earliene Carr
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 16:22:48

    My Husband’s grandfather Gardner Johnson Snyder was Secretary of the Fidelity Lodge in Ridgewood, N.J. on Maple Avenue in the 1920’s &1930’s I know for sure. I don’t really know how many years total he was there? I also know when he retired he was given a Gold Watch with a long gold chain with a large Masonic Symbol on the end. It is beautiful! It was given to my husband & after my husband died i gave it to one of my sons who was interested in it! …………………………….. You may remember me? Gardner’s mother was Elizabeth Amy Lair (dau. of Edmund P. Lair & Elizabeth Maclone of Frenchtown, N.J.) I had written about & you answered my comment in ref. to the Amy Lair’s picture that was on “Who Were They? “I didn’t know whether she was my husband’s great= grandmother or not, but I knew the lady was related, due to the names in many of the comments. I appreciate so much for all the inf . you sent me on here & E-Mail! I have wanted to write you back in reference to something I am still puzzled over, but haven’t been able too since my genealogy is still in storage – (I thought I would have had it out a long time ago). I was afraid I would make an error? Hopefully, I can explain this so You will understand what I am talking about? …………………………………………………. In the 1850 N.J. Census, Philip & Mary Lair had a bunch of kids (appro.10?) with Amy Lair, being the oldest & John the youngest (according to the census) with John being Elizabeth Amy Lair’s father, & Amy his Sister —- How could she be her (Elizabeth Amy Lair’s) grandmother, as in her will we have? We also have one from Ida J. Hann (Elizabeth A.’s Aunt ) – Mary H. Hann’s sister & several others! These Copies are what I wanted to send you – a copy of, so you will understand what I’m talkng about? Remember you told me her other sister Margeret Hann Married Taylor Salter> I had told you that Amy Lair Apgar also had Salters & others in her Will, even before you sent me the information on the Salters, as well. I believe Ida J. Hann did too? I do hope this makes since? Please excuse errors & what-ever don’t make since write me back for an explanation? I Apologize for this being so long! …………………. I have two thoughts in mind of what could be possible, but my eyes are bothering me right now, so I will write back later & explain what I am thinking of? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Before I forget – would you know how Lambert C. Hann who married Sarah “Sadie” Snyder (sister of Gardner Johnson Snyder – in ref. to the Fidelity Lodge & Husband of Elizabeth Amy Lair) is related to Edmund P. Hann – if he is? As you know, this family is all mixed-up in many lines!!!!!! Thanks for all you have done for me previously!


    • Mrs Marvel
      Jun 21, 2013 @ 09:28:14

      Oh, my, the mystery of Amy Lair had slipped my mind but now you remind me, it was rather complicated! I tend to trust wills a tiny bit more than the census documents. Wills are written specifically so family treasures will be directed to the right people. Census takers sometimes had poor penmanship, spelled peoples names wrong, or even just used first initial/last name for long names. My guess in your case, is that there are TWO Amy Lairs – one the grandmother, one the daughter. Your family is also very intertwined with marriages I believe. It wasn’t unheard of for cousins/second cousins etc to marry, and that could really twist the branches!


      • Janice Earliene Carr
        Jul 03, 2013 @ 16:25:20

        The information I have on Gardiner Johnson Snyder &wife Elizabeth Amy Lair is also for The intense guy(forgot his e.mail) He also has helped me tremendously, and I really do appreciate it! I have been 30 + years looking for Elizabet Amy Lair’s parents & only after he sent me the inf. that I found them. There is two Amy Lairs in my husband’s family, which I have always known. As I said before Amy Lair Apgar (I believe married Lewis B. Apgar in her 40’s, best of my memory?) left a will leaving property to her “Granddaughter” Elizabeth Amy Lair, wife of Gardner Johnson Snyder of Ridgewood, N.J..” as stated in her will. Along with other relatives. I do remember, she mentioned a niece Ida J. Hann; nephew ? Salter & etc.. I have forgotten the other names. If I ever find it again I will send a copy! As I said before in her will she says she is the grandmother of Elizabeth Amy Lair Snyder. In the 1850 census of philip & mary Lair – Amy Lair Apgar is the older sister of John Lair (who supposedly both are children of Philip & Mary Lair.) If they did not have other very young children I would have thought she may have been John’s mother(born out of wedlock?) & all raised in same household – at time of census? Sure is a mystery!! Let me know what yo both think? The Amy Lair you had on the ” Who are They?” is related somehow as the names are some of the same as in her family. She was an older lady when she married, but no mention of her havin a child that I can see
        But mention’s all of Lewis’ children he had from first wife! I apologize if you can’t make heads or tails of this? It is complicated trying to explain? If there is any way either of you can help me with this, I sure would appreciate so much as I am already thankful for all you have done for me already! Thanks so much. Jan

    • Janice Earliene Carr
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 17:32:58

      OOOPS! I made an error at top – I said Gardiner’s mother. – Elizabeth Amy Lair was Gardiner’s WIFE. Thanks so much for answering. I will tell you what I think happened when my eyes get better. Again thanks. Jan


  15. Janice Earliene Carr
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 16:38:06

    In case you would rather reply by e-mail, please let me know, If you no longer have my e-mail address? Thanks, Jan


    • Jaime Young
      Jan 13, 2014 @ 15:51:29

      Hi Jan,
      I had read your comment where you had mentioned Lambert Hann and Sadie Snyder and I was wondering what information you had on them? They are my Great-Great Grandparents and my Grandmother asked me if I had found anything out about them because she knew I had been working on our family tree. I’ve found two different sets of information for Lambert. The first one is that his parents were Ida Jane and Lambert and the second is that his mother was Harriet Hann and that she was a widow. The second one sounds right because my grandmother was told that he didn’t have a father in his life but I’m at a standstill. Anything you know would help tremendously!


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