1908

1907 & 1908 Christmas Seals

In the early 20th century postcards were used like modern day text messages. Millions of cards were produced and sent domestically for a mere penny. At the same time, one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. was tuberculosis. Many afflicted with the illness were sent to sanitoriums for treatment. In 1907 Emily Bissell with the American National Red Cross created the first U.S. Christmas seals to raise money for a small sanitorium in Deleware. (See the American Lung Association). The seals were sold at post offices for a penny each and were most commonly affixed to postcards.

Pictured below are postcards with the first U.S. Christmas seal (Scott catalog WX1) and a 1908 provisional seal from Poughkeepsie, New York.

Dec 23, 1907, Philadelphia use of a Type I, “Merry Christmas” seal (WX1).

After the success of the 1907 seal, the following year the American National Red Cross created a second Christmas seal and started selling them at post offices including Poughkeepsie, New York. Someone in Poughkeepsie decided the town should have their own stamp where the proceeds would go to charities in Poughkeepsie. The provisional Poughkeepsie Christmas seal is very similar to the Red Cross seal (Scott WX2). 1908 was the only year Poughkeepsie made a Christmas seal.

Provisional Poughkeepsie Christmas seal sent Dec 23, 1908, from Salt Point, NY. Salt Point is a hamlet northeast of Poughkeepsie.

Some amazing postcards and covers with Christmas seals were sold in 2011 by the Robert Siegel Auction firm.

Posted by Geoff in Postcards, 0 comments