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Masonic Slides.
During the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, every local post of any fraternal lodge, from the Masons and Oddfellows to the Knights of Pythias, owned a magic lantern and a collection of glass magic-lantern slides. The slides were used in initiatory rites and for general instruction.

No. 1. Hiram, the Master Builder.

No. 2. The Unfinished Temple.

No. 3. The Unfinished Sanctum Sanctorum.

No. 4. At the South Gate.

No. 5. At the West Gate.

No. 6. At the East Gate.

No. 7. The Rubbish of the Temple.

No. 8. Seeking a Passage to Ethiopia.

No. 9. Twelve F.C. Before King Solomon.

No. 10. Parties of Three.

No. 11. At the Brow of a Hill.

No. 12. The Clefts in the Rocks.
Above: Twelve standard 3.25" x 4" magic lantern slides. The complete Second Section of slides relevant to the Third Degree of Masonry, made by the Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co., Cincinnati, Ohio and copyrighted 1906.
Some slides of a set from a Masonic lodge. The slides are titled: #37 Emblems of Mortality; #32 Sword Pointing to Naked Heart, and All Seeing Eye; #1 Holy Bible, Square, Compass, and Warrant; and Book of Constitutions Guarded by Tyler‘s Sword. The wood frames are marked 'McIntosh Stereopticon Co. Chicago, Ill.'




Three 3.25" x 4" glass magic lantern slides. The set of magic lantern images relevant to the Third Degree (Master Mason) has a basic 16 slides in it, numbered 22 through 37.
The three slides shown here are slides #25, #26, and #27, depicting respectively the 'Entered Apprentice Lodge', the 'Fellow Craft Lodge', and the 'Master Mason Lodge'. Each image is hand tinted and made by The M.C. Lilley & Co. Columbia, Ohio.


Another picture of slide #27, this time enclosed in a mahogany frame. It measures 4" x 7" with the round slide measuring 3.5" across. It shows the Master Mason's Lodge. The frame is labelled on the top edge and has the impressed name of T.H. McAllister, Optician, N.Y.


The basic set of slides relating to the Entered Apprentice degree of Masonry contains a mere 14 slides. In the more elaborate sets certain slides however have subdivisions, essentially, "close-ups" of certain details in the initial slide. A truly complete Entered Apprentice set would be comprised of 33 slides. A good example is slide #12 that has three sub-slides numbered 12 a, b and c, for respectively 'Brotherly Love', 'Relief', and 'Truth'.
Shown is a handsome Masonic slide depicting the virtue of Brotherly Love. The paper mat is marked "Economic Series". The 3 "x 4.25" slide is mounted in a mahogany frame measuring 7" x 4".



Another slide in a wooden frame that depicts the virtue of Brotherly Love. It is 7 x 4 inches; the circular glass is 3 1/4 inches in diameter.
The top edge of the slide is marked with a paper label that says “MASONIC 12a Brotherly Love”.

Two versions of slide #30 titled 'Beehives'. The beehive is another important symbolic object used in fraternal organisations. The first one is encased in an oak or frame that measures 4" by 7". It is stamped with the name of the manufacturer, T. H. McAllister, Optician, NY. The second is a 3 "x 4,25" slide with a paper mat.



The slides relevant to the Third Degree of Masonry usually started with slide number 22 (following in numerical order after the slides relevant to the First and Second Degree.) This is one of 18 basic slides relevant to the Master Mason Degree. Just like the sets of the other degrees however, some of the slides were available with optional, additional slides that provided more detail. A good example would be Master Mason slide #38, showing "Three Steps." The three steps, Youth, Manhood and Old Age, would all be depicted on slide 38. But also available, for the more affluent Lodges, was a set of three additional slides, 38a-38c, each depicting an individual step.

The Pettibone Manufacturing Company was a 'Military and Society Goods' manufacturer in Ohio. At the end of the Nineteenth Century the company was described as 'the largest establishment in which all kinds of paraphernalia for lodges, societies, schools, etc. are manufactured, and in which four hundred and fifty people are constantly employed.' In their catalogue No. 75 we find an illustration of a Magic Lantern showing views in Lodge Room, an illustration of the 'Peerless' magic lantern, and a list of their Masonic slides.

Pettibone magic lantern with a revolving disk of 10 small circular glass slides with brightly coloured pictures giving the name "Peacock" to the lantern. It was used as an educational and entertainment device for Masonic and Fraternal Society Lodges.
Some sets of slides, used by Masonic Lodges.

The basic set of slides relating to the Entered Apprentice degree of Masonry contains a mere 14 slides.
Slides for the Second Degree, the Fellow Craft Lodge, are numbered 15 through 21.
The slides relevant to the Third Degree, the Master Mason Lodge, usually started with slide number 22 and contained basically 18 slides.

The slides below are not placed in the right order.


More Masonic slides....
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