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.

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