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Object: Poster, ’Make Health "Catching"!’

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Title Poster, ’Make Health "Catching"!’
Production Kee, Douglas (commercial artist), 1940, Wellington
E. V. Paul, Government Printer (printing firm), 1940, Wellington
Medium summary Offset lithograph on paper
Materials paper, printing ink
Classification posters
Technique offset lithography
Dimensions Overall: 560mm (Height) x 440mm (Length)
Credit line Purchased 2001
Registration number GH009886

This poster was created to promote Health stamps, which the Post Office had introduced as Charity stamps in 1929 to raise funds for various health purposes. They were inspired by a suggestion made by Danish immigrant Kristine Nielsen. In 1926, she proposed that New Zealand introduce Christmas seals for charity purposes, like those sold in her homeland.

The design of the poster is based on elements from two photographs of boys playing ball games. However, one of the photographs featured a boy with his hands cupped ready to catch a tennis ball - not the best way to catch a beach ball. The Post Office only caught the error when preparing the poster to promote the stamps. The resulting poster image, with its catchy title, therefore portrays the scene more realistically than the issued stamps.

Health stamps and their associated posters were the touchstone of public involvement with children's summer health camps in New Zealand. From the mid 1930s, Health stamps became a major source of funding for children's health camps. The release of new Health stamps every year made them popular with collectors in New Zealand and overseas.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.