Dr. Claire Panosian Dunavan writes on the Pasadena Star-News website. "
Jolly snowmen with carrot-noses. Starry nights, smiling Saint Nicks. Apple-cheeked carolers. These and other postage-sized images bring back memories. In the 1950s and 1960s, Christmas seals decorated every winter card and package - or so it seems to this middle-aged reminiscer. Today, however, few folks know how Christmas seals started. In 1903, a Danish postal clerk named Einar Holboll conceived of the charitable stamp as a way to raise money for tuberculosis patients, especially children. "
In the article
, Dr. Dunavan goes on to say, "Within a few years, Christmas seals spread to the U.S. After all, TB was rampant here, too. During the 19th century, some experts estimate the "white plague" killed 25 percent of young adults in our country. Back then, we had no effective drugs - just healthy food, fresh air, and - oh, yes - an extra ingredient called hope."
Shown above, 1924 poster promoting the use of Christmas seals.
For more on Christmas seals, click here.