The History of Christmas Seals ®
For more than 100 years, the US Christmas Seals ® campaign has been raising funds to help in the fight for air. First launched by the American Red Cross in 1907, the US Christmas Seals campaign is managed today by the American Lung Association. Although stewardship of the campaign and its specific causes have changed over the years, the focus of the Christmas Seals campaign is still on helping us all breathe easier.
From its origins as a fundraiser for a Delaware tuberculosis sanitarium to today's nationwide programs that include promoting programs for clean air in our homes, schools, workplaces and outdoor spaces plus anti-smoking education, childhood asthma research and work on other breathing-related issues, the Christmas Seals campaign comprises an important awareness and fund-raising program of the American Lung Association.
My mother has been battling COPD for more than 10 years, and my brother is a respiratory therapist. In our family, we cherish clean, healthy air.
Photo: 1925 Christmas Seal, Wikimedia
Christmas Seals, 1946
Stamp Collector Albums - Organize, label and preserve your little bits of history
The best way to enjoy any collection is to organize it in a protective album or case. Stamps become quite fragile as they age, so it's best to mount them in a specially design book that lets you look at them over and over without handling.
Nice red hardcover album with black pages to show off your stamps
I Remember Christmas Seals - Christmas Seals - Facts, History, Artists, Trivia
Christmas Seals have a rich history. Many baby boomers have fond memories of pasting Christmas Seals on greeting cards and packages during the holidays. Vintage stamp sheets preserved from seasons past are highly prized collectibles. Stamp collectors consider them special novelties and many uncut sheets are lovingly preserved as works of art - with prices to match.
Buy Christmas Seals this year and start an annual tradition or a collection while helping to fund breathing diseases research, health education and air quality legislation, or purchase gifts and holiday merchandise through the official Christmas Seals store.
Christmas Seals Collector Catalogs - Reference books to help you identify and catalog your stamp collection
Philatelists include Christmas Seals non-postage stamps in special collections. You can purchase unique albums to organize and protect your stamps. These books will help you identify, categorize and determine the value of your collectibles.
- Getting Started - A Primer on Christmas Seal Collecting
Large inventory of worldwide Christmas Seals, and related items, for sale. Easy to navigate site map. Site also includes info on seal literature, albums, catalogs, and collector society memberships. Primmer on seal collecting explains the many collec
- Christmas Seals Tradition Continues
Although more than 100 years old, Christmas Seals are acting pretty young these days: YouTube and Facebook are just a few places where this year's retro and nostalgic seals are tackling the modern-day problems of air pollution, tobacco use and lung d
- Christmas Seals Pictures: 1934 to 1959
American Lung Association of Hawaii photos of vintage Christmas Seals designs.
- Christmas Seals Pictures: 1980 to 1999
American Lung Association of Hawaii photos of late twentieth century Christmas Seals designs.
- Christmas Seal Designers
HWCN: Christmas Philatelic Club page lists Christmas Seal designers from 1907 through 2004
- Christmas Seals - a custom of Christmas
Customs of Christmas explores the origins of our Christmas customs and traditions, like advent, candy canes, Christmas caroling, Christmas cards, Christmas lights. poinsettias, Christmas seals, Christmas trees, gift giving, hanging stockings, nativit
Collectors and others interested in these tiny artworks that raise funds for lung research and clean air legislation will find artist information, collectible values and other triva and facts in this catalog.
Christmas Carols for Your Listening Pleasure
- Classic Christmas Carols, MP3 Selections
In 1907, Tuberculosis (TB) was a common and serious lung disease
Christmas Seals campaign begun by the Red Cross now managed by The American Lung Association
"In the early 20th century, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the U.S. ... tiny Delaware sanitorium would have to close its doors if $300 could not be raised to save it. One of its doctors explained the plight to his cousin, a Red Cross volunteer named Emily Bissell. Bissell was a veteran fundraiser, and she soon came up with a plan based on one that had worked in Denmark: She would design and print special holiday seals and sell them at the post office for a penny each.
By the end of her holiday campaign (and after an endorsement by President Roosevelt), she and a large group of committed volunteers had raised ten times the goal and the American Lung Association Christmas Seals were born."
From: American Lung Association, History of Christmas Seals
Christmas Seals Golden Anniversary - Help Celebrate Another 100 Years of Christmas Seals
Christmas Seals in the USA
"Christmas seals ... were introduced to the United States by Emily Bissell in 1907, after she had read about the program in an article by Danish-born Jacob Riis, a muckraking journalist and photographer. Bissell hoped to raise money for a sanitarium on the Brandywine Creek in Delaware.
It grew to a national program in 1908 by the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis (NASPT) and the American National Red Cross. The seals were sold at post offices, initially in Delaware at 1 cent each. Net proceeds from the sales would be divided equally between the two organizations. By 1920, the Red Cross withdrew from the arrangement and sales were conducted exclusively by the NASPT, then known as the National Tuberculosis Association (NTA). Various promotional schemes were tried: in 1954 the small town of Saranac Lake, New York (home of the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium) won a nationwide competition selling Christmas Seals, the reward for which was hosting the world premiere of the Paul Newman film, The Silver Chalice; the cast participated in a parade in the town's annual winter carnival.
After World War II with the development of the antibiotic streptomycin TB became a curable disease, although it would be decades before it could be considered under control in developed countries. To reflect the expanding scope of the organization's goals, the name was changed to the National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association in the late 1960s. The NTRDA became the American Lung Association in 1973, though the 1974 seals continue to show the NTRDA inscription on the sheet margin.
Today the Christmas Seals benefit the American Lung Association and other lung related issues. Tuberculosis was declining, but recently has been on the rise. TB is still one of the most common major infectious diseases in the world."
Lung Health Issues Information - Christmas Seals Help Fight COPD, Asthma, Flu, Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma
This link list provides resources for understanding symptoms and treatments for lung-related health issues including asthma, COPD and lung cancer.
- Health A-Z | Caring.com
Find chronic lung disease therapies information and useful chronic lung disease therapies resources at Caring.com.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Quiz
Check your knowledge about COPD with this simple online quiz presented by the National Institute of Health.
- Lung Diseases
Lung Disease information list - linked to patient and family information for each topic.
- CDC - Asthma - Basic Information
In most cases, we don't know what causes asthma, and we don't know how to cure it. We know that if someone in your family has asthma, you are also more likely to have it.
Donate to American Lung Association - How to contact American Lung Association About Christmas Seals
Learn more about Christmas Seals program, the work of the American Lung Association and other lung health related issues they tackle by visiting the official web site or contacting the American Lung Association headquarters or you state divisional office.
American Lung Association
1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004
T: 202 785 3355 | F: 202 452 1805
This page and its author are not affiliated with the American Lung Association or Christmas Seals.
Kids can learn more about lung health, download a game or print a coloring page - click the image for free printable Christmas coloring page.
Image: vintage early 20th century advertising cut promoting Christmas Seals
Help American Lung Association Fight for Clean Air
Help fund lung disease research and legislation for healthy air
The fight for clean air and research to combat lung diseases get funding from the sales of Christmas Seals. The US program was developed as a critical fundraising effort in 1907, modeled after a successful campaign that began in 1904 in Denmark. My paternal grandmother was a tough Irish nurse from Boston who cared for recovering TB patients and others in her home; I lived there with my parents until I was about 5 years old. No members of my family contracted tuberculosis, although in the 1950s both my parents smoked cigarettes. By the sixties they'd both kicked the nicotine habit.
As a child, I looked forward to the packet of colorful holiday stamps on perforated sheets - Christmas Seals - that would arrive around Thanksgiving in our mail box.
Our family always made a donation to the campaign. I and my 5 siblings enjoyed tearing the stamps apart and sticking them to the backs of holiday card envelopes, packages, gift tags and ornaments.
Today you can purchase Christmas Seals directly from the American Lung Association. They're shipped free of charge when you make a donation to the Christmas Seals campaign.
Celebrate your good health and happiness with a gift to the American Lung Association.
Christmas Seals Collectibles on eBay - Vintage stamps and sheets have high value
Philatelists (stamp collectors) often have a special section in their stamp albums for Christmas Seals.
eBay Guide to Christmas Seals is filled with information and lots of pictures of vintage Christmas seals.
Canadians Love Christmas Seals
© 2009 Lee Hansen