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Goods For The Brethren: Masonic Advertisements
Courtesy of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry

Fraternal organizations generated from the eighteenth century onwards a lively trade in memorabilia and goods bearing fraternal insignia. Rodney Weit, in his study of the American Knights of Labour, , has described how the nineteenth-century Knights of Labor could 'fasten their cuffs with KOL glasses, adorn their shirts with KOL buttons, check the time on KOL watches, and drink water from KOL glasses...Knights could don KOL collar stays and watch fobs that proclaimed Knighthood's universalism.' (p. 233, cited by Paul Martin, ). This trade in fraternal merchandise was pioneered by freemasons, who offered one of the largest markets for such items. The potential size of this market was emphasised by the following advertisement in , vol. 3 no. 51 (26 February 1870), p. 1:


The circulation The Freemason of being now at the rate of nearly half-a-million per annum, it offers peculiar facilities to all who advertise.

It is well known that the Fraternity of Freemasons is a large and constantly increasing body, mainly composed of the influential and educated classes of society; and as is now the accepted organ of the Brotherhood in the United Kingdom, and also enjoys an extensive sale in the colonies and foreign parts, its advantages as an advertising medium can scarcely be overrated.

For terms, apply to
George Kenning
2,3 & 4 Little Britain, London E.C.

The following selection of advertisements from the various Masonic periodicals held by the Library and Museum of Freemasonry illustrates something of the surprising range of this trade in fraternal merchandise:

The Freemasons' Quarterly Advertiser (a supplement accompanying the Freemasons' Quarterly Review) No. 6 (June 1835), p. 4:


Wm. Bachhoffner, for many years the sole accredited agent of Mr Cuff, for the sale of his celebrated Sauce, now offers to the Public his improved and delicious Freemason's Sauce, which has received the unqualified approbation of the Nobility and Gentry for its picquancy, and the peculiar delicate flavour it imparts to Gravies, Steaks, Hashes, Fish, Poultry, Game, and Cold Meats. It embraces every quality of the original, with a further combination of richness and superiority that cannot be excelled. It will be found a superb adjunct to gastronomic refinement, comprising a goût which can only be appreciated by its use.

This elegant addition to the table is manufactured and sold, wholesale and retail, by Wm. Bachhoffner, 37, Museum-street, (without whose signature none can be genuine), and may be had at most of the Italian warehouses in the United Kingdom.

The Freemasons' Quarterly Advertiser No. 17 (March 1838), p. 6:


Brother Beach presents his cordial invitation to the Craft to eat White-bait and enjoy the viands at the Plough at Blackwall, which he promises to prepare with every attention, that a cordial welcome should command.

The Freemasons' Quarterly Advertiser. No. 25 (March 1840), p. 4:


It frequently happens when the Services of an Accountant are indispensable, that a difficulty arises in finding one who combines the necessary qualifications.


Offers himself to the notice of the Craft. He has had practical experience of twenty years; and any brother who may require his assistance will find his motto carried out to the fullest extent.

The Freemasons' Quarterly Review New Series no. vi (June 1844), p. 4:

JUST OPENED — AT THE PANORAMA LEICESTER SQUARE A magnificent view of the ruins of the temples of Baalbec, supposed to be a treasure-city of King Solomon, and now one of the wonders of the world. The view includes Mount Lebanon, the Ruins of the Temple of the Sun, the Lesser Temple, Anti Libanus, and the extraordinary walls of the City.

The splendid representations of Hong Kong, and Baden Baden, recently inspected by his Royal Highness Prince Albert, are open.

The Freemason 1 (June 19 1869), p. 10:

Bro. Higman's Masonic Bouquet
Greatly Admired for its Richness and Permanency of Fragrance.
Sold in Stoppered Bottles, at 2s 6d. each.
Wholesale and Retail
At the Masonic Depot,
3 & 4 Little Britain, London

The Freemason 1 (June 19 1869), p. 11:

Bro. Busbridge's Masonic Note and Letter Paper
Sanctioned by The Most Worshipful The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England

It is impressed with Masonic Die, and has also Masonic Emblems incorporated with its texture, as water marks, while being manufactured.

Sold in quarto and octavo packets of 5 quires, wholesale and retail, at the Masonic depot, 3 & 4 Little Britain E.C.

Masonic Envelopes can also be obtained at the Depot.

The Freemason 1 (June 10 1869), p.10:

A daughter of a respectable tradesman and brother mason wishes a situation as a barmaid. Has never been out before; received a first-class education in England and France. Age 17, and amicable appearance. A Bro. Mason's situation preferred. — Billet Mark, P.M. and P.Z., to Bro. Geo Kenning, Masonic Depot, Little Britain, E.C.

The Freemason 10 (1877), p. 304:
Charing Cross Station Toilet Club
(Continental Booking Office)

A Great Convenience and Saving of Time to the Brethren, desirous of dressing promptly, previous to going to Lodge, Ball, Dinner, &c. Private dressing rooms, charge 6d., with every attendance and appliance for the Toilet. Evening dress taken care of for the day or season in perfumed boxes (locked) no charge. Baths, hosiery, perfumery, hairdressing, dress suits, boots, opera hats, Masonic clothing, jewels, swords, &c. Fuller particulars per post (halfpenny stamp). N.B. — Ladies Department.

The Freemason 10 (1877), p. 9:


'Bro. Adlard's far-famed jewel attacher, from its simplicity and convenience, has only to be known to be universally adopted. The price 7s. 6d (if with pockets for jewels, 6d each pocket extra), places it within reach of all.' — 'We have much pleasure in recommending Bro. Adlard's Attacher for its conveniency and usefulness.'

Craft aprons, 15s. and 21s.
Lodge-collars, 9s 6d. to 12s 6d.
Royal Arch Aprons and sash, 30s. to 38s.
No. 225 High Holborn
Opposite Southampton-row, W.C.

The Freemason 10 (1877), p. 30:

Ionic, Doric and Corinthian
Emblematically arranged for the Worshipful Master,
Senior and Junior Wardens.

6s 6d per set of 3 one pound candles,
Packing Case 6d each.
10s 6d. per set of 6 candles. Packing cases 1s.

Wholesale and retail at Bro. George Kenning's Masonic Depots, London, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The Freemason 10 (1877), p. 304:




The above reward will be given to anyone wearing out a pair of these boots in six months, everyday wear. The softest, easiest, and most durable boot ever worn. Price 17s 6d to 25s, to measure or otherwise. Note the address, 40 Ludgate Hill. An old boot sent from any part of the Kingdom will ensure a fit.

Bros. Bedford Lemere and Co. (Architectural Photographers to the Queen), 147, Strand, London, attend Masonic Gatherings, Wedding Parties and Social Reunions, and execute every description of Out-door Photography with promptitude, in first style and at moderate cost. A large collection of photographs on view and sale. Catalogues and printed items free by post.

The Freemason 15 (1882), p. 472:


The public are becoming so accustomed to reading reports of jewel robberies that numbers of the nobility are taking steps to secure their valuables from the attack of the modern burglar, and the demand for Milners' Jewellry Safes is largely on the increase. These are made to fit in cabinets to suit any kind of wood, and are the best and cheapest safeguard against fire and thieves. Milner's Safe Company (Limited), 28, Finsbury Pavement, E.C., have some hundreds of testimonials from gentlemen who have Milner's Jewellers Safes in their possession, and in no instance have burglars succeeded in opening them. Safes are made specially for Masonic Jewellry, Records, & c.

The Freemason 5 (16 March 1872), p. 161:


The most beautiful yet produced, are those Manufactured by Edward Lee & Co., in gold and colours by Patent Process, none can excel them in brilliancy, durability and cheapness.

By the same process Tablets are manufactured on Iron, Wood, Leather-cloth, Paper, and other Fabrics.

General Ornamental Glass Works. 10, Featherstone Buildings, Holborn E.C., and 23, South Castle Street, Liverpool

The Freemason 10 (August 1872), p. 507:

MASONIC MISCHIEF. The new Masonic Song. Inscribed to the Worshipful Company of Masons by Gerald Grant. Post Free Eighteen Stamps. London: Stead & Co., 19 Piccadilly, W.

THE NEW MASONIC SONG. — "Men of the Trowel" "An Overwhelming Answer to Masonic Mischief" — Court Express . Eighteen stamps, post free. Henry Stead & Co., 19 Piccadilly, W.

The Freemason 10 (May 5 1877), p. 175:

An exhibition of Humanitarian inventions to save life and property at sea, by Bro. Col. Perez de la Sala, will be open on Monday next until the following Saturday, at the rooms of the National Safe Company, No. 1, Queen Victoria Street. Brother Masons are especially and fraternally invited to inspect these inventions, there being free entrance to members of the craft. Brethren are respectfully requested to sign their names in the book placed at the doors for that purpose.

The Freemason 4 (1871), p. 514


For lodges, chapels, schools and families
Prices from £4 to £50
215, Stanhope Street, Mornington Crescent, N.W.

The Freemason 3(1870), p. 299:


8, New Bridge Street, London
Frederick Bigg, P.M. Manager

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