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 Emily Perkins Bissell

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Emily Perkins Bissell

  • Birth 31 May 1861 Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
  • Death 8 Mar 1948 Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
  • Burial Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
  • Memorial ID 31352470

Social Reformer. Best known for her social work and public health activism, she introduced the first Christmas Seals to fight tuberculosis. She opened Delaware's first public kindergarten and was active in efforts to introduce child labor laws in Delaware. At the request of her cousin, Doctor John Wales, who operated an open-air tuberculosis sanatorium in Wilmington, she attempted a fund-raising campaign to fight tuberculosis. She designed a postage-sized stamp to be sold for a penny and be attached to Christmas cards. She hoped to raise $300 the first year, 1907, and ended up raising over $3000 in the Wilmington area alone. The campaign went national the following year and illustrator and fellow Wilmington native Howard Pyle volunteered to design the seal. Over $100,000 was raised the second year. She would devote the rest of her life to the anti-tuberculosis and Christmas Seal movement. In 1980, she was honored with her own United States postage stamp.

Bio by: Garver Graver

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 12 Nov 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 31352470
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Emily Perkins Bissell (31 May 1861–8 Mar 1948), Find A Grave Memorial no. 31352470, citing Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .