The Mason's Apron
"An emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason."
Perhaps the most recognizable artifact of Masonry, both past and present, is the the Mason's Apron. The apron hods a special place in a Mason's work, so much so, that a Mason is entitled to be buried with his apron, upon his death.
Though Mason's are on the level, the Mason's apron can be as simple as the white lambskin, or as ornate as the purple and gold braids of a Grand Master's apron. In past years, aprons were sometimes very ornate. In some instances hand painted. Evidence exists of Masons' wives doing much of the handiwork.
The Washington Masonic Library & Museum holds several significant, and beautiful aprons in its collection. If you've attended the Annual Communication in the past couple of years, you may have seen some of them.
The apron pictured above belonged to Most Worshipful Elwood Evans, Grand Secretary 1863-1865 and Grand Master of Washington Territory 1865-1866. The apron was presented to the Grand Lodge of Washington in September of 1942. It is an example of fin embroidery and braid work, demonstrating the great care and attention to detail that was given to aprons in the 19th Century. This apron is available for viewing in the Washington Masonic Library and Museum, where
Aimee Newell, former director of collections for the Scottish Rite Museum & Library (Northern Jurisdiction) has written a book titled "The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library". This is an excellent book showing various aprons, and many examples of unique and beautiful work over the centuries. The Washington Library & Museum has this book in its collection, which is available for viewing.
The Washington Masonic Library & Museum is open Monday - Wednesday from 9 AM-Noon, and by appointment. A Masonic education group meets Wednesdays from 10 AM to Noon in the Library and is open to Masons. For more information, please call 253.442.2505 x 106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.