DescriptionJames Curtis Booth's Masonic Apron, Neck Sash, Medal, and Lithograph Print. This collection includes the following: a blue silk Masonic apron (16" x 13.5") with bullion trim and devices with "No. 134" above a hand-painted portrait of Benjamin Franklin in starburst; a blue silk Masonic neck sash (22"); a silver Masonic medal inscribed on the reverse, "James C. Booth / Franklin Lodge No. 134 AYM"; a lithograph print (13" x 17", circa mid-nineteenth century) of Booth by A. Newsam, produced from a daguerreotype by M. A. Root. All items show little wear. The lithograph print exhibits some minor staining.
The apron includes attached tassels (the maker's tag is attached -- "Horstmann Bros. &c. Military Depot, 5th & Cherry St's. Philadelphia") and is housed in the original box from Horstmann Bros.
James Booth (1810-1888) gained his reputation as a chemist after he opened a teaching laboratory in Pennsylvania in the 1830s. In 1849, President Zachary Taylor appointed him a melter and refiner at the U.S. Mint-a position he held until his retirement in 1887. While at the mint, Booth invented new ways to refine California gold. He also designed a new wind furnace to melt the large amounts of California gold entering the market.
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