Society News

  1. Mystery of Američtí Češi Sobě - Mosbaugh All Fund Ethnic #2230

    1902 Czech American Ethnic Fund

    In the 1970's, when Ray Mosbaugh wrote the US All Fund Catalog, he must have had difficulty translating Američtí Češi Sobě, Ethnic #2230, but with the help of the internet, the meaning is "Czech American Rooms". Issued in 1902, this is a very early US Czech Ethnic fundraising seal. CS&CSS member Richard Bridges reported that #2230 was issued by The Council for Higher Education, or CHE (Matice Vyššího Vzdělání), with Šimek and W. F. Severa as the founding members.

    In 1901, Cedar Rapids businessman W.F. Severa attended a high school graduation in that city and was impressed by the intelligence and presence of the valedictorian, who was also a Czech-American. Severa was dismayed when he learned that the young man was to become a manual laborer because he could not afford to attend college. Severa agreed to finance his education. The young man, Efrem (Jeffrey) Hrbek, refused what he considered to be charity, but accepted an interest-free loan. Hrbek became the first recipient of a CHE award and eventually received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and became a professor of Czech language and literature at the University of Nebraska.

    Within one year of its founding in 1902, the CHE had 155 members, received $1,452.39 in donations, presumably in part from selling these fundraising seals, and made loans ranging from $25 to $200. The first president of the Board of Trustees, Professor Bohumil Šimek of the University of Iowa, undertook a series of nationwide lectures and wrote articles promoting the value of education to the Czech-American community. The history of Czech Language Programs and the Komenský Club are inseparable. The club, a branch of the CHE, named for Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius) was instrumental in the fight for Czech language instruction.

    Two portraits appear on the lovely American Bank Note Company intaglio engraved seal.

    John Amos Komenský (Comenius) was an impoverished Czech born in the late 1500's. He became a philosopher, theologian, and religious refugee, but is best remembered as one of the earliest champions of universal education.

    Karel Jonáš (Charles Jonas), a Czech emigrant to the US in 1862, was a journalist and politician. He was elected to the Senate twice, and was the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin. His home in Racine is on the National Register of Historic Places.

  2. 1907 Christmas Seal Related Material

    1927 first edition Happiness and Other Verses, by Emily Bissell, cover 1927 first edition Happiness and Other Verses, by Emily Bissell, frontispiece and title page 1927 first edition Happiness and Other Verses, by Emily Bissell, autograph page

    Priscilla Leonard was Emily Bissell's pen name. in 1927 she published a book of poetry, Happiness and other Verses, with an enlarged embossed facsimile of her 1907 type one Christmas Seal on the cover. The rare first edition was printed by J. B Lippencott, Philadelphia, and is 224 pages, with hard cover. Emily Bissell autograph most of them and stuck in a genuine 1907 type 1 seal. The frontispiece illustrates a US Christmas Seal collection through 1927, "Collected by W. L. Kinkead, Ridgeway, N.J.". Kinkead was the #1 member of the CS&CSS as well as the first President of our club. The appendix, The Christmas Stamp in America, is an article by Bissell on her 1907 Christmas Seal campaign, when education on the nature of the disease was as important as treatment for the sick.

    PDF icon The 1907 Christmas Seal Campaign by Emily Bissell.pdf
  3. Early Christmas Seal Dealers

    A. W. Dunning's Christmas Seal/ Poster Stamp Pricelists 1941 Ben Morris Christmas Seal Pricelist 1932 L. H. Jackson Christmas Seal Pricelist

    One of the earliest Christmas Seal dealers was a well known stamp dealer, A. W. Dunning, who was written about by philatelic historian, Herman Herst. In the 1930's Elmer Long dealt in stamps as well as Christmas Seals. Vernon Bressler worked for Long, and eventually purchased his Christmas Seal inventory. Vernon Bressler was a well known Christmas Seal dealer for decades, working into the 1990's. A copy of his 1969-70 Christmas Seal Handbook was submitted by CS&CSS member, George Painter. Bressler, and Long before him used illustrations by professional cartoonist, Couthard.
    Many members of the Christmas Seal & Charity stamp society were also dealers. Amy Ellen Davis, and Charles Lorenz, who ran a collector service for the National Tuberculosis Association, before purchasing the inventory, were two of them.

    PDF icon Burton Price List ca 1937.PDF PDF icon 1969-70 Vernon Bressler Christmas Seal Handbook Pricelist.pdf
  4. Rare California Local Tied On

    Rare 1909 Santa Barbara US Local Christmas Seal tied on postcard

    So far, this seal is more rare mint than tied on. With less than five known copies, still many collectors would prefer a tied on. The 1909 Santa Barbara US local TB seal was not discovered until the late 1970's. The same seal exists with other California city names. This was discovered on eBay. Unfortunately for the seller, the primary illustration was a rather ordinary picture postcard.

  5. Seal News Table of Contents for Back Issues

    1929 thru 1969 Imperforate Christmas Seals

    This ongoing project of our Seal News Editor, David Teisler, is making our journal more useful. As new issues of Seal News are released, the project is expanding, and includes, issue, page, author, date, and title of scholarly articles.

    The 'Seal News Table of Contents for Back Issues' project is not to be confused with early Seal News indexes which covered the period of 1947 through 1988. These early indexes, mostly written by past Seal News Editor Ray Mosbaugh, primarily contained information on seal issues by date and society, as well as the name of the collector that reported them. They were published in December or January between 1960 and 1989, and are useful to anyone writing a catalog of seals.

    Office spreadsheet icon Table of Contents for Back Issues, April 2017.xls
  6. Early Tropical Fish Events & The Haile Selassie Ethiopian Fund & 1935 Christmas Seal Song

    Tropical Angel Fish Early Event Poster Stamps Ethiopian Haile Selassie Fund Poster, Harlem, NY - Poster - Front Ethiopian Haile Selassie Fund Poster, Harlem, NY - Poster - Back 1935 Christmas Seal Song

    I love these early European tropical fish events. At one time I had 7 fish tanks and have bred quite a few different species, including Pterophyllum scalare, the fresh water angelfish pictured here. Occasionally, I wish I had the space for a tank, but instantly recall that collecting seals is a lot less work.

    Going thru a fine reference collection of Ethnic Seals listed in Mosbaugh's All Fund Catalog; came across a fascinating Haile Selassie Ethiopian fundraising poster. This US Fund was sold in Harlem, NY.

    The 1935 "March of the Christmas Seal" Song, written by Ruby Erwin Livingston and Kate Strauss Shibley, was dedicated to Erle Chambers, Executive Secretary of the Arkansas TB Association.

  7. Fairy Tales on Christmas Seals

    Japan Christmas Seal White Cross 1966 1947 Belgium Legends Christmas Seals

    In 1966 Japanese White Cross Association (Greens #48) issued four different fairy tale TB seals in a sheet of 10, perforated as well as roulette. The Japanese fairy tale descriptions are the work of CS&CSS member, Mr. Brzezinski.

    1) Hanasaka Jiji - The old man who makes trees blossom out of season. He is the subject of a popular Japanese fairy tale. Once upon a time, there was an old couple who had a dog called Shiro. They also had very unpleasant neighbors. One day, Shiro started to bark at a certain spot in the garden for such a long time that the old man dug up the earth at the place and to his great surprise unearthed a large number of coins. The neighbors who had watched the scene through the fence, at once thought the dog possessed some magic power, and after trying to entice it into their own garden, succeeded only by force, whereupon they commanded the dog to find some treasure for them. Shiro again barked over a certain spot in their garden, but upon digging they only found a pile of filth and offal; so they killed the dog there and then, burying it underneath pine trees. The old man grieved over the loss of his pet and offered sacrifice upon the spot, and during the night he was visited by the ghost of the dog who commanded him to cut down the pine tree and make a rice mortar of the trunk, which would possess the quality of being able to pound each grain of rice into a piece of gold. The neighbors envied the old man and stole the mortar only to find that the rice turned to filth, and in their rage they broke and burnt it. The ghost of the dog returned once more to the old man and told him to gather the ashes of the mortar and scatter them over the dead trees, as the ashes touched them they began to sprout and became covered with blossoms. He traveled over the country and his fame spread. The Daimyo of a neighboring province loaded him with presents. One of his neighbors tried to imitate him with ordinary ashes, but upon being called to the mansion of a prince he not only failed to make trees blossom, but the ashes blew into the prince's eyes with the result that he was given a sound beating. But the old man took compassion upon him and gave him some gold, after which the neighbors repented of their ways.

    2) Kintaro, a little chubby boy with sparkling eyes and rosy round cheeks, was the best friend of the animals in the woods. He lived a secluded but natural and happy free life with his mother in the Ashigara Mountains. The strong boy Kintaro loved the black bear, and was gentle and friendly to the timid rabbit, the nimble monkey, the swift footed deer, and many other animals. The boy and the bear played Sumo, or Japanese wrestling almost every day and the picture of Kintaro overthrowing a bear has become quite popular among Japanese boys. One day Kintaro and his animal friends wandered far into the woods. When they came to a deep canyon with no bridge, Kintaro pushed a pine tree with all his might, until it fell over the chasm, and they succeeded in crossing the valley. A traveler looking at the wonderful work of the little boy, persuaded him to go to the capital and serve the great Lord Raiko. Kintaro went up to Kyoto and the traveler who was one of Raiko's followers, and in later days he became one of Japan's well known heroes - Kintoki Sakata, because of his bravery and goodness.

    3) Ookuninushi-No-Mikoto - Once there was a white rabbit who wanted to cross the sea. Across the waves he could see a beautiful island and he wanted very badly to go there. But he could not swim and there were no boats. Then he had an idea. He called to a shark in the sea, and said: "Oh, Mr. Shark, which one of us has the most friends, you or I?" "I'm sure I have the most friends." said the shark. "Well, let’s count them to make sure." said the rabbit. "Why don't you have your friends line up in the sea between here and that island over there, then I can count them". So the sharks lined up in the sea, and the rabbit went hopping from the back of one shark to the next, counting, "one, two, three, four..." Finally he reached the island and turned to the sharks, and said "Ha, Ha! You dumb sharks. I sure fooled you. I got you to make a bridge for me without you even knowing it." The sharks became very angry. One of them reached up and snatched a piece of the rabbit's fur. "Oh it hurts!" cried the rabbit, and began weeping. Just then the king of the island came by. He asked the rabbit what was the matter, and when he heard the rabbit's story, he said, "You must never fool others and tell lies again. If you promise to be good, I'll tell you how you can get your fur back." So the king gathered some bulrushes and made a nest with them. "Now you sleep here in the nest of bulrushes all night," said the king, "and your fur will grow back." The rabbit did as he was told. Next morning he went to the king, and said, "Thank you, thank you very much, my fur grew back and I'm well again, Thank you, thank you." Then the rabbit went hopping off along the sea shore, dancing and singing. He never tried to fool anyone ever again.

    4) Issun Boshi - There was a good and honest couple in a village. Both the husband and the wife prayed to God that they might have a baby of their own - even a tiny little fellow as small as an inch. To their great delight, a baby was born, but he never grew taller than an inch, so that when they named him Issun Boshi or Issumboshi, which means One Inch Boy. One day Issumboshi wanted to go on a trip. His father gave him a glistening needle to use as a sword; his mother found him a lacquer bowl and chop stick as a boat and oar. Taking leave he rowed for days up the Yodo River, coming to the Capital. There a beautiful princess happened to pass in a lacquered palanquin, which stopped in front of Issumboshi for just a while. Jumping in without being noticed, he went to the mansion of the princess's father. Surprised at the voice of a person whom they could not recognize, they looked here and there and at last they perceived the small figure. The princess became very fond of him. One day the two went out a long way, when suddenly appeared a hideous looking ogre, rushed toward the princess ready to take her away. Issumboshi drew his needle sword, shouting in a large loud voice. The ogre picked him up and swallowed him down, but Issumboshi pricked and pricked his stomach until the ogre rolled on the ground in pain, Choking, he coughed up Issumboshi. After the ogre ran away, a magic mallet was found to be left behind. When the princess waved it up and down, Issumboshi shot up taller and taller to become a grown man. The princess's father granted his daughter's hand in marriage to the youth, and they both lived happily ever after.

    For the size of the country, Belgium has been one of the most prolific issuers of TB Seals. 1947 Belgium (Green's #19) is unlike most TB seals, because they are (intaglio) engraved. This costly method of printing is usually reserved for paper money and some postage stamps. This set of 9 different depict local legends with coats of arms, and were issued in three different colors. The following was written by an unknown seal collector April 10th 1947. A page was missing, so if anyone has information on the 4 missing legends, please contact your webmaster,

    1) The Legend of Horse Bayard (Namur) - The legend of the Horse Bayard and the four sons of Aymon has spread over the whole of Western Europe. It is particularly popular in the district of Namur. Fleeing before Charlemagne's wrath, four knights closely pressed by their pursuers reach the bank of the Meuse. With a mighty jump, Bayard clears the enormous ravine, landing on a rock which still bears its name today and on which the marks of the hoofs are still visible.

    2) The Legend of Brabo (Antwerp) - In the time of Julius Caesar, a giant terrorized the bargemen who sailed up the Scheldt. Seven men of the district practiced archery and felled the giant by piercing his eyes and throat. The Roman Governor, Salvius Brabo, cut off the giant's head and threw it into the river in the presence of the people who had assembled there. The seven liberators became the heads of the Patrician families of Antwerp.

    3) The Legend of Saint Bubert (Luxemburg) - Of noble birth, Hubert of Aquitaine indulged without restraint in the joys of a worldly life. (He was a "Gay Dog.") One day whilst hunting in the Forest of Ardennes, a wonderful big stag, with a crucifix between its antlers stopped suddenly in front of him. This apparition had a decisive influence on the future of the noble earl. Successor to Saint Lambert as Prince Bishop of Liege, his souvenir has remained most popular in this region.





    8) The Legend of Tchantches (Province of Liege) - Tchantches (Walloon for Francis) is a celebrated character in Liege. According to local tradition, he was born in the Quarter of Outre Meuse, between two cobble stones in 760. Through an accident when being baptized, he was afflicted with an enormous nasal appendage. The story of Tchantches is a long succession of joyful anecdotes showing the degree of intimacy between him and Charlemagne, whom he never left, day or night. One of his most remarkable achievements was his attitude at the Battle of Roncevaux where he shattered to pieces at least three thousand Saracens, remaining invulnerable himself, thanks to his nose.

    9) The Legend of the Knight of the Cards (Limburg) - Popular belief has created a legend around the presence, in the Cemetery of Heppeneert (Limburg) of a tombstone bearing coats of arms representing three hearts and five diamonds, the legend seems to be the local version of a general legend known in several continental countries. A knight has lost all of his fortune gambling. To make up, he calls on an evil spirit and sells him his soul. On the fateful date the knight is happily saved by a good spirit to which the Limburg version has given the features of Saint Gertrude.