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Masonic Royal Arch Apron, supposedly worn by General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton)
ca. 1863
Maker not marked
Leather, silk, cotton, bullion, paint
a: 11-1/2"h x 15-1/8"w x 1/4"d
Loaned by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts

Small white lambskin apron with bullion embroidered Ark of the Covenant in center; black and red silk "saw-tooth" border (black triangles painted on), with gold bullion tape edge; red cotton and gold bullion fringe. Red silk backing. Apron supposedly worn by Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton). Apron comes with white small collar (GL2004.0140b).

The maker specially crafted this apron for Charles Stratton (1838-1883), better known as General Tom Thumb. Stratton stopped growing as a young child, reaching 40 inches in height. A Connecticut Mason, Stratton wore this apron for some of his York Rite Masonic activities. It came to the Grand Lodge Museum as a gift in 1930 from one of his wife's relatives. Her family lived in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Stratton worked for circus manager P.T. Barnum in New York and toured throughout Europe and America. In 1862 he was made a Mason in St. John's Lodge No. 3, was received in all the York Rite bodies and became a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason in Bridgeport, Connecticut. For further information, see Newell, Aimee, et.al., "Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection", 2013, p. 210-211.

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