Sharing the Light through Fifty Years of The Pennsylvania Freemason

Part 2 (to read part 1 click here)
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50_1th1. Starting life under Editor Bro. William A. Carpenter as Volume 1 Number 1 (November 1954), The Pennsylvania Freemason was a four-page black-and-white newsletter. This was the only issue in 1954 and in Volume 1.

50_2th2. The first issue with a photograph, February 1962, celebrated the Installation of Grand Master W. LeRoy McKinley (December 27, 1961).

50_3th3. With the next issue, in July 1962, the title masthead, with its subtitle, "An Official Publication of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania," changed radically. It became what could be called "streamlined" or "modern." The map of Pennsylvania (note the county outlines!) was replaced by the word Pennsylvania, which, with its The, however, would always be smaller than the word Freemason. The Square and Compasses moved to the upper right, and a dash of color and lines across the top of the page were added.

50_4th4. The first full-color photograph ever used is on the front page of the October 1963 issue, showing the Masonic Homes' Grand Lodge Hall as seen through the formal gardens.. This was a special issue, on glossy paper, featuring the Masonic Homes; color was also used in the center spread and the back page. Each November, the issue used that color format, until 1968, after which the "color issue" month varied. From November 1973 through November 1975, no color was used. Matte-finish paper and black-on-white printing were the norm. However, as of February 1976, more and more color was used. Since color prints best on glossy paper, often at least semi-gloss was used. In February 1995, the first all-glossy-paper issue appeared, and glossy paper has remained.

50_5th5. In May 1976, the masthead changed again to include an illustration of the Masonic Temple, Philadelphia; and the lines were eliminated.

50_6th6. The title, The Pennsylvania Freemason, was printed in blue for the first time in November 1976. In February 1982, the title appeared "reversed out" (white) with a narrow blue outline against the light blue background. The words, in blue with the outline in black, would appear first in February 1984. The Masonic Temple also disappeared in February 1982, but colored text boxes made their debut. By February 1993, the Square and Compasses in white with blue or black moved to the top left; and the Seal of the Grand Lodge in gold at the right was added.

50_7th7. As of May 1996, the whole front page has a background color, and the masthead words, while usually remaining bright blue, remain outlined if necessary; but sometimes they are "reversed out," and their outline is not always black, as seen below in the January 2004 issue.

For the first time in December 1997, a special inaugural edition of The Pennsylvania Freemason was published as Number 5 of the volume for that year, to celebrate the Installation of the new Grand Master. Grand Master Slater, however, chose to have Number 1 of Volume 51, published in January 2004, be his Inaugural Issue. Some other new features: the Square and Compasses and the Seal of the Grand Lodge are larger and "ghosted" behind and a little above the first and last letters of Freemason. A letter in the title has also become more than a phonetic symbol: the "o" of Freemason is a picture of the Grand Master's pin, "Sharing the Light."

As The Pennsylvania Freemason moves through its fifty-first year, and on toward its centennial, the changes will continue, bringing additional creative ways to document the past and present, express hope for the future, and Share the Light of the world's oldest fraternity.

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