by New York Hobby Club
In 1908, the Hobby Club was established as a gentlemen’s club. Planned to be a space for people to showcase their special interests, the “object of the Club shall be to encourage the collection of literary, artistic and scientific works; to aid in the development of literary, artistic and scientific matters; to promote social and literary intercourse among its members, and the discussion and consideration of various literary and economic subjects.”
Only a maximum of fifty men were allowed to be members, and in order to gain admission to the club, one had to prove they had an interesting, well defined hobby. Members gathered around extravagant dinners while each regaled one another with collections, tales and other displays of their findings.
This work offers some insight on the club, especially membership, topics of talks, and details on the dinners they shared.
by General Grand Chapter
Social history as a corrective to a historiography is often too limited to diplomacy and wars. It began an upward trajectory as early as the 1930s, but it remains constrained by the frustrating cost and availability of materials that even great research libraries lack. This volume is a case in point.
Fraternal movements like Freemasonry have impacted society for hundreds of years. Yet, over time research into their undoubted influence has been handicapped by their codes of secrecy, arcane rituals, and the paucity of continuing tertiary research projects. As a step towards “more light” Westphalia Press has produced a number of scarce titles that will be helpful in understanding the “secret empire” of lodges, initiations, and (candidly) the deliberately inscrutable.
Although the Order of the Eastern Star at one time claimed ties to orders in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Swedish royal court, the consensus is that it was largely created as a companion secret society to Freemasonry in thenineteenth century. Both men who are Masons and women with a family connection to Masons are members, and chapters are found as far afield as Scotland and Australia.
by Moses Thacher
Moses Thacher was born on November 14, 795 in Princeton, Worcester County, Massachusetts. He was frustrated with the growing number of people involved with Freemasonry in his religious community. He felt the oats one swore as part of Masonic ritual were incompatible with religious doctrine. It became a serious issue for Thacher, so much so that he felt it destroyed the character of his Christian church. He was not alone, as numerous other people left their church to join one that prohibited Freemasonry. He penned a few anti-Masonic tracts, including, “Masonic oaths neither morally nor legally binding” and “Reasons assigned by the Church in North Wrentham for withdrawing from their masonic brethren and others and being formed into a distinct and seperate church.” On July 21, 1878, at the age of 82, Thacher passed away in Cambridge, Henry County, Illinois.
Saint John’s is the oldest lodge in the United States and its social history when fully written will be a corrective to a historiography is often too limited to diplomacy and wars. Fraternal organizations like Saint John’s have impacted society for hundreds of years. Yet, over time research into their undoubted influence has been handicapped by inattention form scholars and the paucity of continuing tertiary research projects.As a step towards “more light” Westphalia Press has produced a number of scarce titles that will be helpful in understanding the “secret empire” of lodges, initiations, and (candidly) the deliberately inscrutable. This volume about a famous lodge with a grand history is a case in point.
The initiative to write this volume comes from the need to fill a bibliographic gap: no book in Masonic literature upon the history of Italian Freemasonry has been edited in English up to now. Thus, it aims to cover this lack and to enter those scholars referring to the English idiom into the history of the most eminent Obedience acting in Italy: the Grand Orient of Italy. The book consists of eight studies, written by young researchers devoted to this topic, and covers a span from the Eighteenth Century to the end of the WWII, tracing through an orderly temporal plot the story, the events and pursuits related to the Grand Orient of Italy.
by Royal Neighbors of America
The early members of the Society were ahead of their time. In addition to providing life insurance for women, they stood firmly behind the women’s suffrage movement. Royal Neighbors was also one of the first fraternal societies to insure children and recognize mortality studies establishing the fact that women live longer than men, and to reflect that difference in life insurance premiums.Royal Neighbors of America was founded in 1888, when Marie Kirkland got a group of eight wives of Modern Woodmen of America members to meet in Council Bluffs, IA. Within a year, they became a fully fledged organization with ritualistic practice and an articles of incorporation, as the non-profit organization wanted to better the world. They also wanted to benefit from insurance laws, so they incorporated in Peoria, IL in 1895, forming as a beneficiary society under the lodge system. They are developed as a non-profit, mutual aid organization that provides insurance. The organization was active in the women’s suffrage movement, and has assisted with providing aid to those in need during numerous natural disasters since the 1906 San Francisco, as a part of their ideology of providing aid to neighborhoods in need.
by J. Fanning O’Reilly
The Fraternal Order of Eagles is an international fraternal organization that was founded on February 6, 1898 in Seattle, Washington by a group of six theater owners. It was initially composed of those who worked within the performing arts. The first meetings were typically social gatherings held on theater stages. As the organization grew, they began to seek out positive changes to make in society. They are considered to be the driving force behind Social Security and Mother’s Day. Members also began to create a unique identity, such calling their lodges “aeries” and adopting the bald eagle as their emblem. Unfortunately, racism was also ingrained in the organization. To become a member, an applicant had to be 21 years old, of good character, not a Communist and be of Caucasian background. The requirement to be white was removed by the late 1970s, but it remained very difficult for minorities to become members.