Christmas seals! Oh I remember those!
I don't think I new whar they really meant, but I knew that they were important
In 1907 0n this date the first Christmas seals went on sale. My memories of them only go back to about 1955. The arrival of that envelope, the one with the Christmas seals in it was a big deal, we could affix them to anything, it was OK, they were not like a real stamps, which cost all of 3 cents. Stuck on every Christmas card, and as the center of every paper snowflake, adorning the links of the feet of red and green paper chains, we made as busy work. The jewel put on every schoolbook cover and art project. Everyone was used, everyone of them,the bright colors and Christmas designs made them irresistible.
We were encouraged to bring in 5 or 10 cents, a whole week's allowance for me for a shinny red plastic TB symbol, it hung from a small straight pin. something that would be considered a weapon today, but in those day even the kindergartners wore them everyday until they fell off and were lost. something i have looked for at every yard sale, but sadly never found even one. I always wondered what that symbol meant.
The following excerpt from the University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, tells the story so much better than I could.
- Ms. Emily Bissell
Bissell got the idea for a sale of Christmas Seals from an article written by a Danish-American journalist and social worker named Jacob Riis. In his article, Is referred to a successful sale of Christmas seals in 1904 in Denmark that raised $20,000 in the fight against TB. Bissell agreed with Riis’s suggestion that America do the same. She borrowed money from friends to print the first 50,000 Seals, got permission from the Wilmington postmaster to sell them in the post office lobby, and sold the first Christmas Seal on December 7, 1907.
Put this stamp with message bright
On every Christmas letter;
Help the tuberculosis fight,
And make the New Year better.
These stamps do not carry any kind of mail
but any kind of mail will carry them.