Special edition of Korean Philately on Christmas Seals 1932-1952 proposed


Korea Stamp Society’s (KSS) current Publisher/Webmaster, Ivo Spanjersberg, and I are working on issuing a special edition of the Korean Philately (KP). Originally we believed we would prepare a book or ”monogram” that would just cover Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Tuberculosis/Christmas and New Year’s seal program that occurred during the period of 1932-1940.

Dr. Hall, who was also a keen stamp collector, and was very familiar with the various TB Christmas seal programs around the world to raise awareness and funds for fighting TB. The idea of TB seals had started first in Denmark in 1904, and then spread to the USA (1907) and Canada (1908). Even though most people told Dr. Hall that these TB seals would not be popular in Korea, Dr. Hall began a sophisticated and successful marketing program for raising money to help raise awareness of TB, and for obtaining funds through this TB seal program in Korea. Collecting of the TB seals, postcards and Dr. Hall’s stationery would become very popular with Koreans and foreign collectors.

As we published more articles about seals on the KSS webpage, we began to receive more and more information about Dr. Hall’s efforts to fight TB, and also about Dr. Moon- Chang Mo, Dr. Hall’s protégé who devoted his life to fighting TB in Korea and who had resurrected the TB seal program after World War II in 1949. The more we published about Dr. Hall and Dr. Moon, the more we began to receive a number of questions and information through the KSS website about the Christian missionary movement in Korea before WWII.

More questions and information on other missionary seals came to the KSS. These other seals included the Methodist Anniversary seal (as it happens, was designed by Dr. Hall), and the Benedictine Mission Catholic seals. I had also added to my collection a number of Dr. Hall’s personal letters and envelopes which we will be able to show images in the special edition.

With all the information we have now, we believe we will broaden the scope of the “monogram” to include the period through 1952 when Dr. Moon issued the last of the “privately” printed TB seals in Korea. In 1953 the Korean National Tuberculosis Association, of which Dr. Moon was one of the founders, started to issue the TB seals and they have continued to do so to this day. If this special edition is successful, we may do a supplement which would include seals starting with the 1953 TB seals.

If any reader have additional ideas of what we might add to this monogram/book please contact either Ivo or myself through the KSS website.

Below is a series of examples of relevant materials:

Fig. 1: Dr. Hall’s 1937 Christmas seal envelope, Hasegawa catalogue number HE13A with “Korea” on upper left corner to left of red TB cross. This is postmarked January 26, 1938. The handwriting is not Dr. Hall’s writing.
Reverse of figure 1.
Fig. 2: This is one type of Dr. Hall’s Christmas seal letterhead with blank pages to type or to write on. It is on the 1937 sixth anniversary letterhead. This letter was written on January 26, 1938 and discusses the exchanging of Korea TB seals for worldwide stamps. The body of the letter is not handwritten by Dr. Hall, but maybe written by his son William who was also very interesting in stamp collecting. The signature is that of Dr. Hall. These letterheads with blank bodies are not in Hasegawa’s catalogue, but he calls them “PL’s” and this one is a PL4.
Fig. 3: Dr. Moon’s TB seal produced in 1949, was the first TB seal since 1940 in Korea, and consists of the unusual sheet arrangement of 9 x 10 seals for a total of 90 seals. The image shows a small amount of white surrounding parts of the outline of the sheet. The Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue (KPSC) give this the catalogue number CS10.
Fig. 4: Shown is an envelope with the use of Dr. Moon’s 1949 seal. The use of the 1949 seal on a cover is very rare. (Note orientation at 90 degrees because of space in page.)
Fig. 5: A remarkable find was from a member of the missionary Clarence Hoffman’s family, Mr. Edwin Burgoyne. He discovered a letter and two covers that have the very rare unissued 1940 TB seal, Hasegawa CS9A. Until these two covers were found, only 3 other covers with CS9A were known.
Reverse of same envelope, with the seal.
The letter which was still inside the envelope!
Fig. 6: The commemorative seal designed by Dr. Hall and issued in 1934 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Methodist Church in Korea. The Hasegawa catalogue number is CM1.
Fig. 7: A set of blocks of four of the five German Catholic Benedictine Mission seals. The authors do not know much about these seals and are trying to research more about their use. For example, we do not know exactly when they were issued and what does the “2” value on all five of them stand for? If any reader has more information about these seals, please contact us through the KSS website.
Fig. 8: This is one of the Dr. Hall’s TB/Christmas and New Year Seal Letter Sheets used by the TB/Seal Committee to market the seals. These letters first started to be used in the 1932 seal campaign. Each year has a different design, and in two years there were multiple designs. There was only one design in 1938, the fifth anniversary of Dr. Hall’s TB seals. Hasegawa gives it the catalogue number HL7.
Fig. 9: Dr. Hall printed posters in the Korean language in 1935 and 1936 to promote TB awareness and the TB/Christmas and New Year seals. There was one type in 1935 and two types in 1936. This is one of those posters printed in 1935. Hasegawa gives it the catalogue number TP1. The 1936 are similar to the 1935 poster with the images of seals also printed on the front of the poster.
The reverse side of the 1935 TB poster shows statistics for TB cases in several countries per 10,000 inhabitants. The countries (國名) are from left to right Japan (日本), France (佛蘭西), Italy (伊太利), Swiss (西瑞國; notice mistake, should be 瑞西國), Scotland (西格蘭), England (英國; today this means the UK), Belgium (白耳義), the Netherlands (和蘭; notice old style name), Germany (獨逸), United States (美國) and Denmark (丁抹). The inclusion of Denmark in this list is interesting because that’s where in 1904 the idea of selling seals to finance the fight against TB originated. The hanja inside the graphic (next to the bars) show the precise number per 10,000. For instance to the left is the number for Japan, 一七.九, which means 17.9 TB cases per 10,000. The lowest line underneath the graphic shows the year (年) for which the numbers of TB cases are shown. Let’s look at Japan again: that is 一九三二 or 1932. Most of the statistics were from 一九二九 or 1929.

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