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"There is nothing so indestructible as a symbol; but nothing is capable of so many interpretations."
Goblet d Alviella
ALL SEEING EYE
HOGARTH’s APRON
WASHINGTON’s APRON
ROBERT BURNS' APRON
EARLY MASONIC APRONS
THE MASTER’s APRON
APRON c.1800
INDEX OF PAPERS
INDEX OF MASONIC SYMBOLS
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Masonic apron with all-seeing eye

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The white leather apron.
The lambskin or white leather apron is an emblem of innocence, the distinguished badge of a mason.
Thus it was presented to us on our first entrance into the Ancient Craft;—Freemasonry’s first gift to the neophyte. And thus it was presented to the initiates of centuries ago in the Ancient Mysteries;;—a sign and token that the virile energy of manhood was not inconsistent with sex purity; a symbol of that control and restraint upon the animal passions and carnal lusts which prove a man free;—slave not even to his baser self.
The apron means all this to freemasons, but it means more. There is something better than the cold chastity of the purist; something stronger than the placid purity of the devotee; something nobler than the icy innocence of the ascetic.
This apron comes to us freemasons as the symbol of service, the badge of our masonry, sign and token that we are builders.
To every freemason comes his work; or, if it does not come it is for him to go to it. To some it is given to do great things. To every freemason is it given to do his greatest thing; striving, not to be better than others, but, day by day, to be better than himself. And also, day by day, to make ihe world better for others.
So is the lambskin or white leather apron presented to the Entered Apprentice, not in reward but that it may be worn as the uniform of a high and holy service, an emblem, that is symbolically adorned with that nobiest of mottoes "Ich Dien" ;— I serve.
Thus worn, the apron can be soiled only by sloth, can be stained only by idleness. It is purest and whitest when worn in self-forgetting labour for others.

Address of Ill. John Lloyd Thomas, 33 Commander in Chief A. & A. S. R., Valley of N. Y., in presentation of Apron to Most Worshipful William Sherer, Past Grand Master of the State of N. Y. The apron, its traditions, history and secret significances, Frank C. Higgins. With 27 Illustrations by the Author. New York : Published by The Author, 1914. 24 p. pb staple. titlepage illustration.

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