From the very beginning the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League utilized Christmas Seal sales as its primary source of funding. The concept of the Christmas Seal started in Denmark in 1904. Einar Holbøll was a postmaster, who envisioned people buying extra stamps to place on their Christmas packages. And the proceeds could go to building a children’s hospital.
Jacob Riis introduced the concept in America. He was a Danish-born journalist in New York. He happened to receive a package with Christmas Seals on it in 1906. He wrote an article about the concept in July 1907.
Emily Bissel started the first campaign in the US in 1907. She was the secretary for the Delaware Red Cross. Her cousin operated a fresh-air tuberculosis treatment center near Wilmington. She read Riis’ article and used the concept to raise funds for the treatment center. The National Anti-Tuberculosis Association began the Christmas Seal campaign throughout the United States in 1908.
Einar Holbøll, c. 1900, Wikipedia.org, Christmas seal, Einar Holbøll by Juncker-Jensen.jpg
Jacob Riis, American journalist, c. 1906, Wikipedia.org, Jacob Riis, File:Jacob Riis 2.jpg
IC034 San Jacinto Lung Association records (Box 5, P-724), McGovern Historical Center