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Object: Publicity photograph for Health stamps

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Publicity photograph for Health stamps
Production Gordon H. Burt Ltd (photography studio), 1931, Wellington
Medium summary black and white nitrate negative
Materials silver, nitrocellulose, cut film, black-and-white film
Classification black-and-white negatives, nitrate cel
Technique black-and-white photography
Format whole plate (1/1)
Registration number C.002731

This Christmas-themed photograph was not advertising gifts for children, despite its subject matter. Instead it was part of a campaign to encourage adults to use special charity stamps when posting their Christmas letters and parcels. By using the stamps they would be fighting tuberculosis and giving children the gift of health.

Health stamps
The poster in the background (obscured in the photo) declares this serious intent. Printed by the Government Printer, it asks 'Will you help this Christmastide by using charity stamps on your mail-matter?' The poster maintains that with each charity stamp went 'the Christmas goodwill' - goodwill in the form of a donation towards the setting up Health Camps for children. This was made by charging twice the usual amount for postage (normally one penny).

Health Camps
Health stamps (as they were known from 1932) are still sold to raise funds for New Zealand's seven Health Camps. The first Health Camp was established in 1919. Others were set up in the 1920s and 1930s with the common aim of boosting the physical fitness and wellbeing of New Zealand children. Private individuals administered the first camps; in 1937 the Department of Health took over their control.

Related information

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