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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

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JohnnyRockets
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21 Jun 2018
02:53:07pm
Hi all,

When I was a kid I saw the Christmas seals floating around on mail as the season went on, and for the most part, they were just a trivial thing.

I had no idea that Christmas seals have been around since 1907 and are still available today!

I'm not 100% sure but I think you get them when you donate money to the organization (please correct me if I'm wrong here), that is what was implied on their website.

I also thought that I saw that some of our members on the forum here collect them?

Seems interesting. Happy


Thank you,



John
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smauggie
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21 Jun 2018
03:12:23pm

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re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

The Scott US Specialized Catalog of Stamps and Covers has a section devoted to these stamps. There are some rare varieties to be found.

They are often collected on cover. I am sure David will chime in.

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JohnnyRockets
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21 Jun 2018
03:25:04pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Hi Smauggie,

I did not know that! I have that catalog and will check that out tonight.

Very cool. I like the seals, they are cool looking and have a great history to them.

Yeah, it appears that some of them can be up to $20 new!

Thank you for your excellent comments always!


JR

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smauggie
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21 Jun 2018
03:31:39pm

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re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Johnny,

I believe the prefix is WX, so it is rather far back in the book.

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
21 Jun 2018
04:15:48pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

You can download free Album pages for US Christmas Seals here
http://stampsmarter.com/learning/FormChristmasSealsHome.html
Don

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
21 Jun 2018
06:49:41pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

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Johnny, here's the two first years of Christmas seals.
You can build a complete collection of USA seals.
The same seals can be found from other countries.
If collecting on cover, it's best that the seal be tied to a cancellation to prove it was on the card or cover since new. There are a lot of old Christmas cards in circulation and it would be too easy to stick a seal on them somewhere. There are correct cards with the seal that's not tied by cancel, but no way to prove it's genuine.

In early years postcards were popular as Christmas and other holiday cards. Soon, cards in envelopes took over. Many of these had the seals applied to the reverse side as a "seal" on the envelope flap. I find many of those from the 1920s onward.

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
21 Jun 2018
06:59:32pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Pre 1930 Christmas seals tied on post cards are far more common than those on cover fronts (the best find is a pre-1930 tied on a cover). Post 1930 they are more common on covers.
Don

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
21 Jun 2018
07:05:00pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Agreed Don and here's why....

Our story begins in 1910, when 18-year-old Joyce Clyde Hall stepped off a train in Kansas City, Mo., with nothing but two shoe boxes of postcards under his arm. He had little money – not even enough to take a horse-drawn cab to his lodgings at the YMCA – but he had an entrepreneurial spirit and the determination of a pioneer. Hall quickly made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold.

Rollie Hall joined his brother in business, and the company was named Hall Brothers. On Jan. 11, 1915, a fire destroyed their office and inventory. They took the only salvageable item – their safe – and set up shop again. With $17,000 in debt, they decided to press onward. As postcard sales declined, they recognized the public’s desire for more privacy in their communication, so they started offering high-quality valentines and Christmas cards mailed in envelopes. The fateful fire resulted in the decision to buy printing presses and begin producing their own greeting cards in 1915.

J.C. Hall also was an innovator in marketing his cards. He was intrigued by the word “hallmark” used by goldsmiths as a mark of quality. Mr. Hall liked that it not only said quality, but also included his family name. So, in 1928, the company began marketing its brand by using the Hallmark name on the back of every card. That same year, Hallmark was the first in the greeting card industry to advertise nationally. The ad was written by J.C. Hall and appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal. Hall was convinced of the power of national advertising and next turned to radio, sponsoring “Tony Wons’ Radio Scrapbook.”

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
21 Jun 2018
07:14:57pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

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and a bonus picture that I just found while looking for another picture!

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ikeyPikey
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21 Jun 2018
08:08:29pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Quote:

"I'm not 100% sure but I think you get them when you donate money to the organization (please correct me if I'm wrong here)"



If memory serves, in the late 1950s & throughout the 1960s, the Xmas Seals came on the honor system; you also got a self-addressed envelope in which to return your contribution.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
21 Jun 2018
09:00:59pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Antonio is, as always, correct, and here I come, a'chiming.

first, 1907 is when the US began issuing seals. The Danes did it in 1904, which is where Emily Bissel got her idea, which she used to rescue a local (Deleware) hospital from closure.

It was far more successful than she imagined, and by the time the year was out, she had not only reprinted her initial seal, she had issued a second seal, with "Happy New Year" added to "merry Christmas." Scott lists these as WX1 and WX2; Green's, the specialty catalogue of Christmas seals (remember the other thread about specialty catalogues, JR, and the comparison with Scott?), lists them as 7.1 and 7.2.

I love Tom, but I take issue with his idea that the Halls influenced seals. Instead, I'll point to Gavrilo Princip. Without him, there is no first world war, and no war, no AEF, and no AEF, no need to pay for it, which lead to an increase in American postal rates, which were later reduced, but the Treasury, loving the funds so much, reinstituted the 1c surcharge on post cards, but not on envelopes. And that was the end of the great era of post cards in America. The USPOD rescinded the surcharge in a couple of years, but the damage was done.

I'll write more in a bit, until someone yells "uncle!!!!"

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
21 Jun 2018
09:03:44pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

i used to write for an online magazine, JuicyHeads. the articles are stil there, and many of them are about seals. you can start here: http://juicyheads.com/jh/articleSearch2.php?i=40&l=93282072.7973574.9197906.6095914.1539413.141090.4495398.442226.2852927.17939.1643519.9544095.2331574.8117299&j=Y&few=

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
21 Jun 2018
09:22:49pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Quote:

"I love Tom, but I take issue with his idea that the Halls influenced seals. "



I didn't mean to imply that the Halls influenced seals. The conversation was about when postcards were superseded by cards in envelopes. My post was that Hallmark was responsible for that.
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
22 Jun 2018
06:52:36am
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

I wouldn't doubt that Hallmark helped push more envelopes; I was saying that it was the postal rate that made post cards less attractive to send. the vehicle is what carried the seal, and the vehicle changed because of the postal rate. My guess is that Hallmark followed the growing interest in vehicles other than post cards.

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JohnnyRockets
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24 Jun 2018
07:38:30pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Hi,

I was bidding on some Christmas seals on EBay and whew, they're not cheap!

The auction ended at $22!


JR

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
24 Jun 2018
10:11:28pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

JR

it depends..... recent and midcentury sheets are cheap; a buck each, or less, except for the varieties, foils, trials, and other oddities. Singles from sheets from the 50s on should be pennies.

Early stuff: 1907-1946 is pricier, with 1907.1 and 1907.2 plentiful and pricey; tied stuff from that year is dear.


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TuskenRaider
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26 Jun 2018
02:41:19pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Hi Johnny;

Most Christmas seals were printed at 3-5 different printers to hold down shipping costs. Each printer
was identified by a "secret mark", which was placed on the sixth stamp in the sixth row from the top-left.
Most of these secret marks were merely a very small single letter that represented that individual printing
firm. In earlier issues there was a symbol, that was hidden in the design, to designate who the printer was.

For at least one year or more, some designs were identical for both Canada and the US. The only way to
tell them apart was a USA in very tiny letters, and if missing then the stamps were Canadian.

The single stamps with secret marks tend to sell for considerably more the a plain single, as every
100 stamp sheet only contains 1 secret mark stamp. Some printers can be identified by the perf gauges used,
while others can only be told apart by those secret marks.

Hope you have fun collecting them tho....
TuskenRaider

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JohnnyRockets
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26 Jun 2018
02:59:29pm
re: My new "discovery" - Christmas Seals!

Hi TuskenRaider,

Wow, that is very cool!

The "secret" nature only adds to the coolness!


Thank you very much for that excellent information. Thumbs Up



JR

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