Alaska Yukon Pacific 1909 Mason Badge

Every day at the AYP was a special day for an organization or group. On June 15, 1909 it was designated the Order of Eastern Star, Grand Lodge Free Day and Accepted Mason Day.

One has to imagine that the gentleman who owned this badge attended the fair on that day.

AYP Mason Badge 1909

Part of finding Worlds Fair memorabilia requires detective skills. This badge came to me while I was looking through silver spoons for a Seattle Worlds Fair spoon.  The Estate Sale lady said she thought one was in the case. So, they let me rummage around in the 30 or so spoons. While I was doing that I saw this badge.

AYP struck me right between the eyes. They didn’t know that it was from the first Seattle World’s Fair.  Just that it was a mason badge and had some value. Boy did it stand out to me. I forgot the spoon search and snagged it up.

I won’t go into what the symbols on it mean except the R&SM stands for Royal & Select Master.

It isn’t too large but it is made of a heavy metal. Rather sturdy in its pin. Made to last.

Slightly shy of 3 inches – Mason AYP Medal

The back even has engraving on it. Plus a glimpse of the pin.

back of AYP Mason Badge

Collecting World’s Fair items can make me go into a time warp. Makes one ponder how much the world has changed in 108 years since the Mason who wore this to the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition. He would be lost in our world and we in his.


Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition Scarf

AYP was the first Worlds Fair in Seattle.  It was hosted at what is now the University of Washington campus in 1909.  It was originally going to be in 1907 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush but Jamestown Exposition was that year, so Seattle postponed.  Apx 3.7 million people attended the event.

Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo Scarf in silver silk

Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo Scarf in silver silk

This treasured momento was a silver silk scarf that our fair goer had her name embroidered on it.  We know her as only Gaby.   The scarf has a picture of the US Government building as the center of the motif.

Gaby had her name embroidered on this scarf

Gaby had her name embroidered on this scarf

The scarf was probably left folded for over 100 years and this contributed to some of the condition issues it has.   Also, the type of silk it was made of combined with creasing has created tear like areas in the fabric.

AYP scarf suffers from shattered silk issues

AYP scarf suffers from shattered silk issues

This is often called shattered silk.    Wiki gives us this nice explanation of what that is.

In some cases, the textiles are weakened not by outside causes such as light or pests, but by chemical reactions taking place within the fabric itself, such as the oxidation of iron-based mordants over time.

One example which is cited frequently throughout the literature is the case of “shattered silk.” During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many silk manufacturers treated their fabrics with metallic salts (usually containing tin and iron) to give them a heavier, more luxurious feel. However, as these fabrics have aged, the metals in the fibres have accelerated their decay and caused them to become extremely brittle. The shredded or “shattered” effect this causes is the reason for the name. In this case, the environment of the textile contributes very little to the deterioration from the metallic salts, though exposure to light may accelerate it even further.

Here is one last shot of the scarf with rulers so you can see it’s size a little better.

AYP Scarf - 19" x 19"

AYP Scarf – 19″ x 19″