Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Promotional Posters, 1935 and 1936


The Christmas Seal Committee of Korea (CSCK), under the leadership of Dr. Sherwood, who in 1932 had started the Korean program of issuing Christmas and New Year/Tuberculosis (TB) seals to raise funds to fight the spread of TB in Korea, issued in 1935 and 1936 promotional posters almost entirely written in the Korean language. These were distributed throughout Korean organizations to help raise awareness of TB, as well as to promote the sale of the Christmas and New Year/TB seals.

Typically, the Korea Christmas seals promoted sales to the English-speaking community in Korea, and especially sales overseas to the USA and Canada. The promotion to the Korean community, other than the Korean writing on some of the Christmas and New Year’s/TB seals postcards, was not a priority, and these posters in the Korean language were an attempt to make Koreans more aware of the program.

This promotion with Korean language posters also fitted in well with the fifth anniversary of the issue of Christmas and New Year/TB seals, which was approaching in 1936. The CSCK of Korea ramped up the promotion of the seals not only with the launch of the posters, but also issued other items for sale, such as reprints of the 1932 seal, even producing the first souvenir sheet of the Christmas seal program. This souvenir sheet also served as a mini-catalog of the first five Korean Christmas seals issued in 1932-1936.

This article will depict and help translate the Korean writing on the posters of 1935 and 1936, and the two postcards written in Korean for those two years. In addition, there is a discussion about the promotional and collectible materials sold in celebration of the seals’ fifth anniversary.

There were two distinct printings of the 1935 Christmas and New Year/TB seals, which Steven Hasegawa gives the numbers CS4 and CS4a in his detailed catalog , as does the Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue (KPSC). The easiest way to distinguish between the two printings is that Type I has the TB cross and one of the girl’s dresses in bright red, while Type II has these details in orange. Details about the 1935 seal are available in an article published on the Korea Stamp Society’s website on November 28, 2018.

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