Tracing Board


Tracing Board


In the 1700s lodge members used floor cloths painted with symbols to instruct new brothers in the meaning of Masonic emblems. When a floor cloth was not needed, members rolled it up for storage. Union Lodge of Dorchester, Massachusetts, owned this tracing board, mentioning it on property inventories made from 1796 through 1820. At some time, probably in the early 1800s, members decided to attach the tracing board to a wood panel. This change allowed the tracing board to be hung on the lodge room wall during meetings.


Gift of Union Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, Dorchester, Massachusetts, 75.46.17


ca. 1796

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“Tracing Board,” Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library Online Exhibitions, accessed August 20, 2022,