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Trench Art Lamp with Masonic Symbols
Maker not marked
France or America
Brass; wood; glass
overall: 34-1/2"h x 13-1/2"dia. at arms; wooden base: 11-1/2"diameter
Museum Purchase

a: 3-Armed table lamp made from an artillery shell with three glass shades. Embossed design motif on shell casing is roses with Masonic emblem (square and compasses with G in the middle). Brass plate attached to base reads: "Presented by Bro. Robert T. Woolsey / Dec. 25, 1922." Electrical cord attached to bottom. b-d: 3 older bulbs that were with it when purchased

Thousands of Freemasons served in the military during World War I. During and after the war, soldiers and civilians made or bought decorated shell cartridges as souvenirs. Sometimes they were made into household items. Union Lodge No. 31 in New London, Connecticut, used this lamp to let brothers know which degree the lodge was working in. It was presented to that lodge in 1922 by Brother Robert T. Woolsey. For further information, see blog post, December 23, 2010 http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2010/12/there-are-masons-in-foxholes.html AND Blog post, March 18, 2014 http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2014/03/memories-of-world-war-i.html

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