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KT Historical Uniforms & Swords

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    Posted: January/26/2010 at 1:48am
Hello,
I am the author of a book on York Rite KT uniforms, swords, medals, and collectible souvenirs (titled Fraternal Regalia I: Knights Templar) and in my ongoing research in this area, I have been looking for several reference photos or drawings of very early uniforms.  In particular, I would like to ask if anyone knows of a period publication (mid-1800's) that shows a drawing or engraving of the 1840's period uniform which included the white surcoat and cape.  Rumor has it that there was a KT related publication, perhaps a triennial conclave book, or a yearbook that showed this uniform. Any help is appreciated.
 
Also, I noted some of the related discussion in other topics on this forum about the older black uniform aprons and when / how they were used.  They were first used in the late 1700's and were common even up until 1900.  Efforts were made to try and restrict them, in the 1860's - 1880's by defining an approved uniform which did not include them, but this was not followed by the Commanderies that had them, so the Grand Encampment gave up.  Details of the uniform regulations as they evolved from 1840 - 1930 are described in my book, and there are many period photos of the various uniforms including those using the black aprons.  It should be noted that there are several versions of the black apron that were used through the 1800's, each with differing symbology.  The most recent and most common had only the swords and skull, which is quite dramatic.  The most rare are the hand painted versions.  Additional info on all the uniform elements used in historical KT uniforms is available in my book. It is available from my website (internetsword.com) or on eBay or Amazon.com (search for Fraternal Regalia Knights Templar).
 
Cheers,
Mike M.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CAMB.MASON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2010 at 9:57am

  have you looked at the 1895 Triennal conclave book of Boston.  There was a commandery in I think it was from Detriot that wore all white, and instead of swords they used umbrellas.  The only other place which is a distance from you is the Musuem of our National Heritage in lexington, Ma.  They have a large collection of early regalia catalogs in their collection.  Go to their web site and see if you can contact them.  The only other place I can think of is the Grand Encampment offices, I know they have a large collection of material, but the last I heard it is all sitting in some storage unit somewhere in that building. 

    On a side note, I have only seen one hand painted apron, but also here in Mass. early KT's did not wear jewels on the breast to mark the office.  Worcester Commandery which is very early, still has in their collection officers jewels, the same as we have today, but they wore them on ribbons around the neck.

 
     


Edited by CAMB.MASON - January/26/2010 at 10:28am
I remain Fraternally Yours:

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Cambridge Masonic Temple Cambridge, Massachusetts



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CAMB.MASON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2010 at 10:28am
Originally posted by KT Collector KT Collector wrote:

Hello,
I am the author of a book on York Rite KT uniforms, swords, medals, and collectible souvenirs (titled Fraternal Regalia I: Knights Templar) and in my ongoing research in this area, I have been looking for several reference photos or drawings of very early uniforms.  In particular, I would like to ask if anyone knows of a period publication (mid-1800's) that shows a drawing or engraving of the 1840's period uniform which included the white surcoat and cape.  Rumor has it that there was a KT related publication, perhaps a triennial conclave book, or a yearbook that showed this uniform. Any help is appreciated.
 
Also, I noted some of the related discussion in other topics on this forum about the older black uniform aprons and when / how they were used.  They were first used in the late 1700's and were common even up until 1900.  Efforts were made to try and restrict them, in the 1860's - 1880's by defining an approved uniform which did not include them, but this was not followed by the Commanderies that had them, so the Grand Encampment gave up.  Details of the uniform regulations as they evolved from 1840 - 1930 are described in my book, and there are many period photos of the various uniforms including those using the black aprons.  It should be noted that there are several versions of the black apron that were used through the 1800's, each with differing symbology.  The most recent and most common had only the swords and skull, which is quite dramatic.  The most rare are the hand painted versions.  Additional info on all the uniform elements used in historical KT uniforms is available in my book. It is available from my website (internetsword.com) or on eBay or Amazon.com (search for Fraternal Regalia Knights Templar).
 
Cheers,
Mike M.
    This is American KT uniform or European.  I know that English and Scottish wear white on some of the KT clothing.  I have not seen anything except the Mantle that the Candidate wears that is white from some of the Commanderies that I have visited their Armories.
   The earliest Triennal book that I have seen was I think 1880. If in Lexington, which at some point I have to do some research I can ask about some of the catalogs.

Edited by CAMB.MASON - January/26/2010 at 10:31am
I remain Fraternally Yours:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stormy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/28/2010 at 10:30am
Have a look at this book.

The Compasses and the Cross
http://www.templarhistory.com/compasses.html

I just got threw reading it and it has some very early pictures of regalia and things, as well as being a pretty good history book of Masonic Templarism.

Secretary, Somerville Lodge #721 F:.&A:.M:.

"One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane," Nikola Tesla
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluetemplar36 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2010 at 9:27pm
American York Rite by the time of the 1840 looks very much similar to what is worn today, with few exceptions. KTs and Knights of Malta (Masonic) wore a variation of a Civil War type uniform in much the same way today. However some members wore a fatigue or broad brimmed cap with a silver or gold bullion red cross or cross designating the office of thier chair in leiu of the full chapeau. Pictures exist of such a uniform in Gettysburg Commandery PA.
 
Mantles and surcoats however were popular in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite more then, than  they are today. Albert Pike is wearing his Scottish Rite Mantle in a post Civil War picture as did many "Knights Kadosh" of the southern juristiction. This is where many scholars become confused as to the order being represented during the mid to late 1800's.
 
The Scottish Rite wore a variation which has been at times misinterpreted as being york rite, wearing a Black Mantle, knee high boots, sword, and what I call a "JEB Stuart" or plummed hat.
 
Of course one must remember communication between commanderies and consistories was not like what it is today. So uniforms and regailia maybe similar but could vary from jurisiction to juristiction.
 
Jonathan M. Welch P.M.
Charles M. Howell Lodge #496
Millersville, PA. (Lancaster County)
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