This bathrobe, or dressing gown, from the late 20th century, is one of my favorite objects in the National Heritage Museum collection. So, when I was working on the checklist for our new exhibition, Inspired by Fashion: American Masonic Regalia, I knew I had to include it!
With nearly one million members by 1900, American Freemasonry offered – and has continued to offer – a tempting market for many vendors. Masons not only purchase regalia and costumes for their meetings, rituals and events, they also buy clothing and other accessories that identify them as members. This bathrobe’s fabric is decorated with perhaps the best-known Masonic symbol – the square and compasses, which signifies reason and faith.
Have you ever seen another bathrobe like this one? If you are a Mason, do you have favorite non-lodge clothing with Masonic symbols? Let us know in a comment below.
Masonic bathrobe, 1960-1980, probably American, Collection of the National Heritage Museum, Museum Purchase, 2005.042a-b. Photograph by David Bohl.