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Masonic Worshipful Master's Top Hat
ca. 1900
Collins & Fairbanks, retailer
USA: Massachusetts, Boston
Silk, wool
overall: 6-1/4"h x 9-1/4"w x 11-3/4"d
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library Collection

Masonic Worshipful Master's Hat; black silk top hat with wool headband; lining printed with the trademark of "Collins & Fairbanks/ 383 Washington ST./ OPP FRANKLIN/ Boston/ Registered/ TRADE MARK ".

Worn throughout the late 1700s and into the early 1900s, the top hat came to symbolize taste and gentility. In the Masonic lodge, the Master wears a top hat to signify the authority of his office and to command respect. The height of a top hat’s crown, the curl of the brim, and the material used to form the hat have all changed repeatedly over the years to reflect prevailing fashion, though the meaning of the symbol has remained the same. For further information, see blog post, March 27, 2020, http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/2020/03/top-quality-toppers.html