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18 Popular Brands You Didn't Know Were Founded By Freemasons

by John Paul Gomez December 25, 2016

18 Popular Brands You Didn't Know Were Founded By Freemasons

This is a follow up to the "10 Famous Men You Didn't Know Were Freemasons" blog that I wrote about 5 years ago.

I present to you well-known US / Canada brands (alphabetically arranged) that were founded by a Freemason. Some on this list have local popularity and some are known on a global scale. Got something to comment or add? Please leave a comment below. 

  1. Alexander Keith's Brewery


    Founded by Brother Alexander Keith. Initiated in 1816 at St. John No. 118, Sunderland, Scotland. Affiliated with Virgin Lodge No. 2, Halifax, SC. Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia from 1869-1873.

  2. Apple Computers


    Co-founded by Steve Wozniak. Initiated in 1979 at Charity Lodge No. 362 in Campbell, California, now part of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 292 in Los Gatos, California. (Note: I heard uncomfirmed reports that he have demited a long time ago)

  3. Chrysler Corporation


    Founded by Brother Walter Percy Chrysler. I can't find information about his Initiation-Raising but I came across this interesting article by a Brother who said he was a member of Scottish Rite Isis Shrine Temple of Salina in Kansas. 

  4. Colt's Manufacturing Company


    Founded by Brother Samuel Colt. Member of St. John’s Lodge No. 4, Pythagoras Chapter No. 17, Washington Commandery No. 1, all of Hartford, CN

  5. Ford Motor Company


    Founded by American industrialist Brother Henry Ford. Palestine Lodge No. 357, Detroit, MI and was a member of Zion Lodge No. 1.

  6. Gillette


    Founded by Brother King Camp Gillette. Adelphi Lodge, Quincy, Massachusetts. Affiliated with Columbian Lodge, Boston on  April, 1909.

  7. The Hoover Company


    Founded by Brother Frank G. Hoover, William McKinley Lodge No. 431, Ohio.

  8. Maclean's


    Founded by Brother John Bayne Maclean. Ionic Lodge No. 25, Toronto.

  9. Mayo Clinic


    Founded by Brother William Worrall Mayo. Rochester Lodge No. 21

  10. Maytag Corporation


    Founded by Brother Frederick L. Maytag. Newton Lodge No. 59, Iowa.

  11. Molson Canadian


    Founded by Brother John Molson, Sr. Master of St. Paul's Lodge in 1971 and served as the Provincial Grand Master for Lower Canada in 1826.  

  12. JC Penney


    Founded by Brother James Cash Penny. Wasatch Lodge No. 1, Salt Lake City
    Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.

  13. Macy's


    Founded by Brother Rowland Macy Merrimack Lodge, Haverhill, Massachusetts. 

  14. NBA

    The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
    While he is not the founder of the NBA as an association, Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball itself. He was Initiated at Roswell Lee Lodge, Springfield, Massachusetts. Affiliated and became the Worshipful Master of Lawerence Lodge No. 6, Kansas. 

  15. Kentucky Fried Chicken


    Founded by Colonel Harland Sanders. Lodge No. 651, Henryville, Indiana. Hugh Harris Lodge No. 938, Corbin, Whitley County, Kentucky

  16. Tim Horton's


    Founded by former hockey star and Brother Tim Horton. Kroy Lodge No. 676, Thornhill, Ontario. 

  17. Wendy's Restaurants


    Founded by Brother Dave Thomas. Sol. D. Bayless Lodge No 359, Fort Wayne, Indiana

  18. Ringling Bros


    The Ringling (Rüngeling) Brothers were all members of Baraboo Lodge No. 34 in Baraboo Wisconsin. 


John Paul Gomez
John Paul Gomez

Author

W. Bro. John Paul Gomez (aka Paul, JP, JPG) is an artist by trade and a full-time father-of-4. He currently serves as the W.M. for Doric Lodge No. 316 AF&AM in Ontario, Canada. He is a Senior DeMolay and an honorary member of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 F&AM in Buffalo, New York. He enjoys cooking, gardening, boxing and skateboarding.


12 Responses

Gerald Edgar
Gerald Edgar

August 21, 2018

Walt Disney was a Sr. DeMolay but not a Mason. However a ‘brand’ recognized world-wide as the “best” in its field was not mentioned: Mayo Clinic of Rochester, MN – founded by the brothers Mayo who were indeed ‘Brothers’ from Iowa (as were the Ringlings & Maytag). You also omitted Louis Chevrolet and Ransom E. Olds – founders of Chevrolet & Oldsmobile (Olds also founder of REO trucks – his initials) Steudebakers were also Masons as was Tucker of the famous short-lived post-WWII car featured in a Hollywood movie a few yrs ago.

Rizaldy Cueto
Rizaldy Cueto

January 06, 2017

How about Disney and Napoleon Brand of Personal Development? Am I right about these information, My Dear Brothers?

Toby Wilhelm
Toby Wilhelm

December 31, 2016

Why no mention of Captain Morgan’s rum?

Eugene Kerrigan
Eugene Kerrigan

December 31, 2016

Molson entry has some confusing dates

Brett
Brett

December 31, 2016

FYI
Founder of Kellogg Cereal was a Member of Battle Creek, Michigan’s Lodge #12 and great friend to Henry Ford. Ford I believe was duel member of Battle Creek as well because of his friendship with Kellogg.

Dick Pairo
Dick Pairo

December 31, 2016

Should do a list of elected officials. Would need many pages.

Greg Peterson
Greg Peterson

December 30, 2016

Bro. Wozniak is still a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge. He has been a Life Member since 2001.

Thomas Beall
Thomas Beall

December 30, 2016

You might wish to know that United States wine industry was started by a Swiss Mason, John James DuFour. For further information go to the National Historical Registry. The link is https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/15000656.pdf
A very interesting piece of early American history as well as Masonic history.
Best regards,
Tom Beall

Jeff
Jeff

December 30, 2016

That is why the burgers at Wendy’s were square and everything is symmetrical and balanced with them. Nice to know about Macy’s being founded by a brother who was a member of a lodge 20 minutes from my house. I also wasn’t aware of Chrysler or Ford, very surprised by Gillette and Apple though….

Greg
Greg

December 30, 2016

I know the folks at Mt. Moriah Lodge and looked up Bro. Wozniak’s record with the Grand Lodge of California. He is still in good standing and listed as active with Mt. Moriah 292.

Bro Tyler
Bro Tyler

December 30, 2016

Great list, Brother! Bro Chuck Williams founded the store in Sonoma CA that we now know as Williams-Sonoma. He also later acquired a then-little known store called Pottery Barn and grew that into a huge brand. He was an active member of Temple Lodge #14 in Sonoma and died a little more than a year ago in December of 2015.

David Cameron
David Cameron

December 30, 2016

Bro. Gomez,

Thanks for this. Here’s another: Joseph E. Seagram founded Seagram Whiskey and was a member of my mother lodge, Grand River No. 151 in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Watch the Grand Lodge site for a series on famous Canadian Masons, coming out this year for the 300th Anniversary.

David

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