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Early Generic Use of the Term, "Christmas Seals"
A U.S. patent was granted for "Christmas Seals" in 1910. These were commercial letter shaped stickers for sealing envelopes. The term "Christmas seal" was used in 1905 for similar decorative labels sold in stores. This predates the ALA's claimed use of the term beginning in 1907 for their particular charity seal. Since they didn't register the mark until 1987 and there are many other charities like Boys Town, National Wildlife Federation and Holy Childhood that mailed out their "Christmas Seals," as so identified in appeal letters or on the selvage of seals, long before then, a cancellation of their trademark could one day happen. The ALA's trademark could be canceled on both grounds of generic name and their inability to prove usage of the term "Christmas seal" for charity stamps in 1907.
That would be a sad day for many, however the CS&CSS wishes the ALA would relax their threats of lawsuits to collectors who refer to US local tuberculosis, and foreign TB fundraising seals issued at Christmas time, as "Christmas Seals". After all, Emily Bissell, designer of the first US Christmas Seal in 1907, gave credit to Denmark (1904) for conceiving the idea of a TB fundraising seal issued during the Christmas season. In 1919 The ALA adopted the international symbol of the fight against TB, the Cross of Lorraine, or double barred cross, used by many nations on their Christmas TB fundraising seals prior to 1919.
HBO Boardwalk Empire Series Pictures unlisted 1918 TB Poster
US Local #84A was issued in 1918 by the American Social Hygiene Association. One of the more visually appealing US local anti tuberculosis seals, this association was not afraid to tackle venereal disease. It is not known if this society issued a poster of the same design, or if this was merely the work of a producer who stumbled on the intriguing design and interesting subject matter, photo shopping the seal into a poster, but if you watch episode 7 "Home" of season 1, you will see the poster hanging on the wall of a doctor's office.
HBO Boardwalk Empire, 2010-14 is R rated and the story of gangsters and crooked politicians, loosely based in fact, emerging in 1920 at the beginning of prohibition. The series stars Steve Buscemi playing Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, fictional 1920's Treasurer of Atlantic City, NJ.
Swedish Christmas Seal Postcards
Many countries issued anti tuberculosis Christmas Seal postcards. Though they often picture a TB hospital, or sanatorium, many early ones from Sweden picture the Royal family. Several feature an enlarged Christmas Seal design. Some are difficult to identify as TB unless you study the back of the postcard.
Ku Klux Klan - The Dark Side of Seals
The Seals of the KKK are listed in 1966 edition of the Mosbaugh All Fund Catalog, Civic and Fraternal section. The reason they were removed is a mystery; perhaps they were considered too evil by the editor, Ray Mosbaugh. Several hide behind patriotic themes; others have more direct messages. The "U before V" window label at first glance appears to be a WW2 patriotic label, but was issued by the KKK. Below is an old article about this seemingly patriotic label, where noted author of his day, Frank Colby supports ideas put forth by the supreme Klan leader, the Imperial Wizard.kkk article-1.pdf (1.18 MB)
Unlisted Finnish TB Christmas Cards
TB Seals issued during the Christmas season are well cataloged, but many "Back of the Book" related items are not. Related material used in Christmas Seal campaigns includes bonds, buttons, coffee mugs, lantern slides, ladies scarfs, letterheads, milk bottle caps & collars, package inserts, pamphlets, posters, transit passes, etc.
These Finnish Christmas Cards were created by their National TB Association in 1946, 1952 and 1954, as well as two later ones unidentified by year. The entire collection of 19 different cards is viewable in the pdf file, below. This unique collection was shipped to Europe in 2016, and lost in the mail.finland TB Christmas Cards.pdf (26.23 MB)
New Discovery - 2009 Design Experiment
Since 1980 US Christmas Seal designs have been selected from a previous years design experiment, with one notable difference being the date. James Hale, Christmas Seal collector and National Director of the Christmas Seal Campaign from 1979 to 1985, submitted this image after I told him it was unlisted in Green's Catalog. The William Vanderdasson design experiment is a modern raritity.
A proposed Green's number and description was submitted to Green's Catalog Chairperson, Dr. Stephen Nawrocki. Email him at email@example.com
2009-T7 Cardinals & Snowmen, Silver foil border, 5 different designs each with “Merry Christmas 2009” or “Season’s Greetings 2009”, self adhesive, serpentine die cut. Designed by William Vanderdasson.
x1) sheet of 56 without gift tags (8x7), margin on 4 sides. “R10-CSCS-4-18” in bottom margin.
Christmas Seal Campaign Envelopes
US Christmas Seal Campaign envelopes were used by the American Red Cross, The National Tuberculosis Association, The National TB and Respiratory Disease Association, and the American Lung Association, as well as their affiliates. They were used in annual campaigns for correspondence, publicity and fundraising. The earliest one, 1917, is not listed in Green's Catalog; however, the 1919 is listed and comes in several sizes with and without a window. These early Christmas Seal Campaign envelopes are scarce to rare.
The first collection has small size envelopes first, followed by larger size ones; both are in approximate chronological order. The second collection is also, roughly, in chronological order, regardless of envelope size. Some, especially the more recent ones, are harder to identify by year but many have clues. An element of a Christmas Seal design may reveal the year of issue, as well as printing on the back of the envelope. The second collection begins with 1959 as Christmas Seals are included on the envelope's illustration where they are in a coat pocket hanging in a closet. These are nice collections, however many varieties exist.
Individuals and Christmas Seal dealers also created Christmas Seal envelopes which look similar to the official campaign ones, and a few of these are included in the first collection. Some were created with current Christmas Seal designs for, Santa Claus Indiana, first day covers which began in 1936. Others illustrate much older, non current seals. I, John Denune, created a series of them myself in the 1980's. Christmas Seal electrotype images over fifty years old, were reproduced on envelopes which were used for correspondence. Mine are not included here. Click on the pdf below to view two different collections.
2016 Christmas Seal Collection for a Dignatary
Not since 1933 has the CS&CSS put together a collection like this. Then, a gift for one of the most famous stamp collectors of all time, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Read a period article about this event, and view an old publicity photo, both "News" items on this webpage, June, 9th, 2015 and September 19th, 2014.
We collect year round, but the media is always hungry for stories about Christmas at Christmas time. I hope this gets picked up by the Associated Press. Call me a dreamer, but if I shoot for the stars, maybe I'll hit the moon. Our goal is to increase awareness of our hobby and the important work of the American Lung Association. Stay tuned, as this will happen in late November this year. With the help of CS&CSS members and non members, notably Laura Bell-Rivera who provided the foundation, this collection contains 1907 to date, singles, pairs, blocks and sheets, as required, and was mounted into a new album.
A separate collection of full sheets of Christmas Seals from 1931 to date has also been included, as well as the flag ship of CS&CSS literature, Green's Catalog, part 1, US National Christmas Seals, the Bible of US Christmas Seal collecting; a printed copy as well as the computer CD edition.
Field Guide to the Cinderella Stamps of Canada, 2nd edition
The Field Guide to the Cinderella Stamps of Canada, 2nd edition, by R. G. Lafreniere is a large full color volume listing over 12,350 Canadian cinderellas including, charity & fundraising seals, events, philatelic exhibitions, advertising poster stamps, propaganda, private courier, strike stamps, fantasies, essays, reprints, forgeries, trading stamps, union dues, security seals, college stamps, air mail etiquettes, and British monarchy stamps.
This impressive volume exceeded my expectations, much improved over the sold out 1st edition, and would be a lovely addition to your philatelic library. Price is $64 + $10 shipping to Canada, or $18 shipping to USA, or $20 shipping to Europe & Australia.
This book is available from the author and publisher, R. G. Lafreniere, c/o Bird Bear Press, 1264 Osborne Ave., Verdun, Quebec, Canada H4H 1X5. For more information and a free downloadable checklist visit www.BirdBearPress.com