Christmas Seals have enlisted the help of celebrities back into the 1920's. There were dignitary signings, radio spots, movie trailers, posters, and national chairmen were celebrities as well. In 1958 The National Tuberculosis Association, with the help of Clark Gable promoted the annual Christmas Seal Campaign. Celebrities of the past include Babe Ruth, Charles Coburn, Lee Trevino, Jack Lemmon, and Rock Hudson, to name a few. This was Clark Gable movie trailer was submitted by Christmas Seal collector, Jim Stone, Many such trailers exist. If you find them, please email a link to your webmaster, John@christmasseals.net and I will upload and credit you on this news page.
Hall, One of the First Families of Christmas Seals
Dr Sherwood Hall, MD was the son of James and Rosetta Hall, medical missionaries (Methodist Episcopal) to China and Korea. Rosetta was famous in her own rite for founding the first women's medical school in Korea. The Korean and Indian postcards with seals tied on were sent from her (in the USA) to various people including an early seal collector, CS&CSS member, Alice Westphal.
Dr. Sherwood Hall issued the first Christmas Seals in Korea, India, and Pakistan.
In 1928 Dr. Sherwood Hall built a TB Sanatarium in Haeju, Hwanghaedo Province of Korea. Hall's first Korean Christmas Seal was issued in 1932. Later reprinted in 1937 with a larger "D" in "AND". Hall's last Korean Christmas Seal issue was in 1940. The first printing with "1940" date is very rare. Only a few escaped destruction by the Japanese occupational government. Supply and demand have made it the most valuable Christmas Seal in the world, and one can expect to pay $1500 for a copy. This Christmas Seal was reissued with "Ninth Year" replacing the date. Hall, accused of being an American spy, was forced to leave the country by the Japanese.
By Christmas 1941 Hall issued the first Indian TB Christmas Seal. His Indian issues have a similar quaint style to the Korean issues, and similar related material, like Christmas Seal Greeting Cards, and Christmas Seal Souvenir Sheets were used in both countries. The first two Christmas Seals of Pakistan, issued by Hall in 1949 and 1950 appear identical to Indian issues, except the marginal inscription on the sheet includes "Pakistan". Hall's third Pakistani Christmas Seal, issued in 1951 has the same design used in India in 1942 and 1947, but without date.
New Discoveries by member Dave Lowental
Dave Lowental reports two unlisted items:
This US TB pin back button, issued by the Jefferson County Anti Tuberculosis Association, encourages the public to be safe, and get a chest x-ray. Those who participated were rewarded with this cool button, There are quite a few different states with a "Jefferson County", but this seems to be from Alabama. Mass x-ray screening campaigns were done from the 1930s to the 1960s, and from the looks of it, I would guess this to be from before WW2.
Dave also found this lovely Red Cross seal tied on Marion Ohio December 22, 1910. Marion is about 18 miles south of Bucyrus, which was the home of the Monnette Public Hospital. Note that "Monnette" is printed on the red cross. The card was sent by Walter Monnette, undoubtedly a member of the family that endowed the hospital. More info on the hospital here.
Great American Stamp Show 2023
It's official! The Christmas Seal & Charity Stamp Society is meeting this Summer in Cleveland at the big annual APS stamp show. There will be a society booth, a display, sample literature, free seals, and a meeting. Hope to see you there.
August 10-13, 2023. Thurs - Sat 10 am - 6 pm. Sun 10 am to 4 pm.
Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. 300 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113.
Host Hotel: The Westin Cleveland Downtown. 777 St. Claire Ave. NE, Cleveland, OH 44114
The Case of the Double Barred Cross - NTA vs Summit County TB
The double barred cross, or cross of Lorraine was first suggested as the international symbol for the fight against tuberculosis at the 1902 International Conference on TB in Berlin, Germany. This crusader's cross belonged to Godfrey of Bouillon, who in 1099 became the ruler of the Christian state of Jerusalem. The symbol was first used on a fundraising label in 1907-08 by The Kensington Dispensary in Philadelphia, PA., a US local TB seal. Like many early local TB organizations, Kensington was absorbed by our national Christmas seal association; now known as the American Lung Association. In 1919, when our national Christmas Seal society split off from the Red Cross, they became the National TB Association, and have used the double barred cross ever since.
In 1954 the NTA sued and won against a US Local TB organization, Summit County TB, of Akron, Ohio, for their use of the double barred cross. This symbol for the "Crusade against TB" was, and continues to be used internationally; first use in Canada 1908, Spain 1909, Philippines 1910, Sweden 1911, Norway 1913, and by the late 1920's many countries had adopted it. To avoid any confusion, here in the US, the double barred cross belongs ONLY to our national Christmas Seal society.
Illustrated here are the double barred cross, a Kensington TB seal tied on, 1919 NTA Christmas Seal, Early foreign TB seals uses of the double barred cross, and the first three issues of Summit County TB, showing their infringement, and subsequent removal of the double barred cross.
Special thanks to member George Painter for bringing this case to our attention.NTA vs Summit County Case of the Double Barred Cross.pdf
Early US Christmas Seal Window Labels
Some of these are minature versions of the poster series that began in 1920.
Little Known Jewish Cuban TB Issues
Green's Cuba TB #'s 70-76, 1939//1952, were issued by the Jewish Anti Tuberculosis Commitee of Cuba (Colonia Hebrea Protectora de los Tuberculosos y Enfermos Mentales), in Havana, and have been greatly undervalued. I know of no dealer who has them for sale. Examining a single seal of this society, a Cuban philatelic expert who had never seen it, asked me how do you know they are Cuban? My only answer was, the larger certificate toward the bottom says, Cuba, and they have been listed in Green's Catalog, under Cuba for a long time.
Kensington Dispensary, Philadelphia, PA
When I googled "Kensington TB Dispensary", I found marijuana dispensaries. I guess the word, dispensary means something different today, however this word was once associated with tuberculosis; a place where suspected or confirmed tb cases can receive appropriate evaluation, treatment, and monitoring.
These 1907-08 US local TB Christmas Seals are among the very first TB seals from America. Each displays the double barred cross of Lorraine, the international symbol of the fight against tb, and a quote by Louis Pasteur, "It is within the power of man to banish contageous diseases from the earth." Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, and pasteurization. His research led to breakthroughs in the understanding of the causes and preventions of diseases, including tb, laying down the foundations of hygiene, and public health.
Glass Plates Used in Christmas Seal Production
These amazing sets of four glass plates were used to create the 1935 and 1936 US Christmas Seal Negative Maker's proofs. NM proofs were created after the artist's work first became a single die proof; a single, or sometimes pair or block of seals surrounded by a large white margin. NM proofs came next, a full pane, usually 100 seals, surrounded by a large white margin. NM proofs were used by all the regional printers of Christmas Seals to create massive press sheets which were perforated and cut into single panes, and sent to every family in America.
The other side of these glass plates are expertly touched up to insure solid colors on the final product. Forgive the terrible reflections in these pictures. I imagine most production items like these have been lost to time. I have seen only one or two other sets of glass NM plates from the 1950's.
Final Christmas Seal of Mexico
2018 was the final TB Christmas Seal issue of Mexico; as of June 2022. Very similar to the 2017 butterfly issue with a new date. Mexican Christmas seals look more like postage stamps than most Christmas seals, finely printed with denominations, and feature many topically appealing, award winning designs.