In Freemasonry, the gavel is the tongue of the lodge and the emblem of authority of the Worshipful Master presiding in it. But did you know that the use of gavels in modern day legislatures and courts may have started with the Freemasons? Gavels were commonly used to rule Masonic Lodges, dating back to the founding of the Fraternity. Gavels worked so well that members of the Craft serving in leadership positions started using them in more public settings, such as at legislative sessions. Today, the gavel has become a well known symbol of civic leadership across the world.
Source: George Glazer Gallery of Antiquarian Globs, Maps & Prints