Anti-Tuberculosis seal stamps on Lebanese covers

Tuberculosis (TB) has been known to mankind since ancient times. Earlier this disease has been called by numerous names including consumption (because of the severe weight loss and the way the infection appeared to “consume” the patient), phthisis pulmonaris and the white plague (because of the extreme pallor seen among those infected). In the 19th century, Tuberculosis became epidemic in Europe where annual mortality rates were around 1,000 per 100,000 per year ! In the end of the 19th century, it was believed that the mountain fresh air and over-feeding in an establishment more like a luxury hotel than a hospital would strengthen the patient. That’s why sanatoriums establishments appeared. Treatment in sanatoriums quickly spread throughout Europe and America. Until the advent of chemotherapy, sanatoriums were the best alternative to treatment, especially in the beginning stages of the disease.
TB Charity Seals are Charity Seals which were issued to support sanatoriums, or for anti-tuberculosis campaigns. The use of TB Charity Seals began in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries beginning in 1904. In the United States, the Red Cross issued seals to fund anti-tuberculosis campaigns and sanatoriums beginning in 1907. They were soon issued by various societies to support anti-TB campaigns in states, counties, and for public and private hospitals and sanatariums. These TB-seals where also called Christhmas seals because they where sold around Christmas time, a favorable period for generosity and compassion.

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