“Grand Masonic March.”
Philadelphia: Lee & Walker, 1873. 14 x 10 ¾ (paper). Lithograph. Printed by Thomas Sinclair & Son. Prints of Philadelphia: 211.
Music making was much more a part of nineteenth century American life than it is today. This created a huge demand for lithographic song sheets, which issued forth from small publishers around the country from 1826 until the end of the century. Many of these song sheets had small scenes on the cover, some of them city views. This song sheet illustration depicts the Masonic Temple, which still stands at the corner of Broad and Filbert. The song sheet was published in honor of the opening of the building, which began construction in 1868, and it is “Respectfully inscribed to the Masonic Fraternity.” The Temple cost more than a million dollars to build, and it was dedicated in an elaborate ceremony on 26 September, 1873, with a parade of 11,000 Masons. This elaborate structure was designed by James H. Windrim and it was considered “the wonder of the Masonic World.”