Society News

  1. The World's First Easter Seal

    1934 Easter Seals

    The World's First Easter Seal was issued in 1934 in Elyria Ohio. The National TB Association, who issued Christmas Seals since 1907, was keeping a close eye on their new competitor. Other countries, including our neighbor to the north, picked up on the Easter seal idea for "crippled children".

     "Cleveland Plain Dealer cartoonist J.H. Donahey designed the first (Easter) seal. Donahey based the design on a concept of simplicity because those served by the charity asked "simply for the right to live a normal life." "

  2. NTA Analysis of US Competitive and Foreign Seals

    NTA Collector Service Reports NTA Collector Service Reports NTA Collector Service Reports NTA Collector Service Reports 1949 Tatham Christmas Seal Album Independent Cancer Research Foundation, a fraudulent fund Lorenz Christmas Seal press sheet tubes


    Beginning in 1938, the National Tuberculosis Association, our national Christmas Seal issuing society ran a collector service. Headed up by pioneer CS&CSS member Charles Lorenz, the Collector Service offered Christmas Seals from around the world. We didn't know Lorenz's duties included writing reports on newly issued seals for the NTA, but it makes sense. The NTA was interested in trends within the charitable fundraising seal business of its competitors; perhaps watching for the occasional fraudulent fund. Member George Painter, in the latest edition of Seal News (Winter 2024), wrote about a fraudulent fund (the Independent Cancer Research Foundation) listed in the Mosbaugh All Fund Medical section.

    These reports, "Analysis of US Competitive and Foreign Seals" form a catalog of every US local and foreign TB seal, as well as other charitable fundraising seals not affiliated with the NTA.

    Only recently coming to light, they were donated to the CS&CSS by Dr. Richard Muller, Professor of Military History, USAF School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Dr. Muller explains, "I grew up in New Jersey. My paternal grandparents lived in Roseland. Growing up in the 1960's and early 1970's my two brothers Bob and Steve and I visited them many times, and frequently met a couple we knew as Uncle Charlie and Aunt Lil. (It was many years before we learned that Charles and Lillian Lorenz were not in fact blood relatives.) My dad (Wilbur H. Muller) was a lifelong stamp collector and all of us dabbled in stamp collecting at one time. Uncle Charlie was very generous with his time and expertise, and frequently gave us envelopes with exotic stamps on them that we soaked off and placed in our albums. Two generations of Muller sons (my dad, and his brothers Dick and Don, along with us kids) fondly remembered the larger than life Uncle Charlie doing everything from showing my dad and uncles "behind the scenes" at the Automat, to meeting us in the city at Gimbels stamp department (when there was such a thing).

    We visited Charlie and Lil several times at their home in Jamaica, Queens. There we saw his Christmas Seal operation - cardboard tubes containing sheets of seals, correspondence from all over the world. As a little kid, you don't really appreciate what you are looking at, but I later learned that Uncle Charlie was one of the world's premier authorities on Christmas seals.

    When Uncle Charlie passed away, as we were not blood relations, we never found out what became of his collection. (Purchased in 1981 by John Denune) But Charlie had given my dad some items over the years. My dad passed last November and there was a box in the attic containing a number of stiff paper binders, containing reports, many of which Charles Lorenz authored or co-authored. Most of these have pages of the actual seals listed, mostly numbered and identified."

    In addition to these historic reports, Dr. Muller also donated two complete 1946 Green's Catalogs, an unused 1949 Tatham Christmas Seal album, and a few articles on Christmas Seals which have been added to the CS&CSS Archive; a pamphlet, The Story of the Christmas Seal, by Elizabeth Cole 11-27-1936; and an article from The Sunday News, Queens section, on Charles Lorenz from 12-16-1956

    This material will be offered in upcoming issues of Seal News by CS&CSS Auction Manager, Joseph Ward.


    PDF icon Muller donation auction lots.pdf
  3. Tied on Christmas Seals

    Italian TB Christmas Seals Syrian TB Christmas Seals Danish TB Christmas Seals French TB Christmas Seals Spanish TB Christmas Seals South African TB Christmas Seals Finnish TB Christmas Seals Norwegian TB Christmas Seals Bermudian TB Christmas Seals Swedish TB Christmas Seals Colombian TB Seal Tied On Cover TB Tied On TB Tied On TB Tied On TB Tied On TB Tied On TB Tied On TB Tied On

    It is estimated that only one in 10,000 pieces of mail has a Christmas Seal "tied on" by postmark, verifying it was used in a timely manner. Everyone is different, and no one has them all. Member George Painter's Tied on Guide details many factors that can enhance their value. Their popularity has helped the hobby of Christmas Seal collecting move into mainstream philately. 

  4. Green's TB Seal Catalog Updates

    Green's TB Seal Catalogs, by Dan Cousineau Green's TB Seal Catalogs, by Dan Cousineau

    In a short time, the late Dan Cousineau managed to update (rewrite from start to finish) much of Green's part 3, Foreign TB Seals, before he passed away September 2023. Dan will be missed. Brian McInturff (editor of Green's part 2, US Local TB Seals), Dan's friend, fellow member and collector, has graciously taken on the responsibility of finishing his work, which consists mostly of Europe less Germany and Denmark. You will hear more from Brian in the next issue of Seal News. So, Asia, South America, Africa, Caribbean & Central America, Denmark and Germany are now available (printed and CD) for sale at this site, on the Literature page, Green's Catalogs Section. Dan's Russian TB Seal album, Illustrating these rare TB seals in full color, is also available.

  5. Dorsey F. Wheless & his Fantastic Christmas Seal Collection

    Dorsey F. Wheless & FDR Dorsey F. Wheless & FDR

    Dorsey F. Wheless was a pioneer member of the CS&CSS who put our hobby in the spotlight thru articles, publicity, and by donating his incredible collection to the Cardinal Spellman Museum.

    This 1933 publicity photo of a Christmas Seal Album being presented to President FDR includes Dr. William Charles White, President of the DC TB Association, Dorsey Wheless, the CS&CSS member who put the collection together, an unknown woman, and Dr. Kendall Emerson, Director of the National Tuberculosis Association.

    In 1935, Wheless, who worked for Scott stamp and Coin Company, helped get Christmas Seals added to the Scott Specialized Catalogue of US Postage Stamps. Check lists of Christmas Seals first appeared in the Scott Monthly Journal, May 1928.

    In the 1980's, John Denune, Sr. visited the Cardinal Spellman Museum in Weston, MA, to examine the Wheless collection and remarked on all the early Christmas Seal essays he had never seen. 35 years later a rather beat up collection came across our desk, some tail end of the Wheless - Rigney collection. Along with it came an interesting file of correspondence with the Cardinal Spellman Museum. Shortly before Wheless's death (1959-60), he asked May A. Rigney to combine his collection with the material she had accumulated while working at the National Tuberculosis Association headquarters. After Wheless' death, in December 1961 Miss Rigney presented the combined collection to the Cardinal Spellman Museum. William Rigney, May's brother made significant additional contributions in the 1970's.

    PDF icon wheless cardinal spellman-1.pdf
  6. Jewish National Fund

    This Charity's first stamp like label was released in 1902, and they have issued thousands of different fundraising seals. They are attractive, and historic. Interesting "Related Material" abounds, such as tags, proofs, essays, membership certificates and even tin litho donation banks. Illustrated here are what had been 25 cent examples. Cinderella collector and expert, Michael Hide says, "... JNF material has risen sharply over the last 10 years or so. One can still find deals but they are few and far between. Also, many JNF items were actually issued out of their New York office." 

    Not to be confused with the Jewish seals listed in Mosbaugh's US All Fund Catalog, JNF seals were sold in many countries. After the British abandoned the Post Offices in 1948 they were used in Israel as postage stamps with various hand stamped overprints. The 2009 Catalog of Jewish National Fund, by Ralph Phillips and Izhak Wayman, lists 4200 different thru 2004. Another great JNF catalog is Rochlin's Handbook of the Issues of The Jewish National Fund.

    "Since its founding in 1901, JNF has been committed to building for Israel’s future as well as responding in times of crisis and need. A vital part of Zionist history, JNF achieved its goal of purchasing the land that would become the State of Israel, then helped to develop that land into a thriving nation—by planting over 250 million trees, building more than 200 dams and reservoirs, developing more than 250,000 acres of land, and creating over 1,000 parks..."

  7. Chicago Charity Tags

    Chicago Medical Charity Tags

    Chicago Charity Tags date back to 1911, but beginning in 1925 the Chicago Associated and Federated Charities issued tags on official days. Funds raised from the drives were used for nursery groups, children's homes, settlement homes, where the poor could get support and services, social centers, schools for handicapped children, protective agencies, children's hospital wards, and homes for the aged.

    PDF icon chicago medical charity tags-5.pdf