The Red Cross Seal (Edison)
TheSeal opened in U.S. theaters on December 16, 1910.*
It was sponsored by the American Red Cross along with thefor the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis and produced and distributed by the Edison Manufacturing Company.
Film was just one of many media that the Red Cross used to get the word out about their 1910 Christmas Seal fundraiser, according to a 1910 article by Philip F. Jacobs:
In connection with the sale, and as a recognized part of it, goes aof publicity and advertising. Beginning about September 1st, press bulletins, special articles, news stories and every other device known to the are sent singly or in quantity to every newspaper, magazine and trade journal in the United States. The columns of newspaper and magazine notices printed during the Red Cross Seal campaign would extend for miles, if placed end to end.
Besides this campaign through the press, other methods of advertising are used also, posters, dodgers, window and wall cards and special literature of many kinds. These are distributed on billboards, in windows and shops, to individuals and in a multitude of ways, by the millions and tens of millions.
Lectures, before school children, in churches, lodges and elsewhere are also a common method of advertising the seals. Even the motion picture shows, through special films and lantern slides, tell their patrons how and why to buy Red Cross Seals. In short, almost every device known to man is utilized in this tremendous selling campaign.
According to youtuber Markdcatlin Edison created one film per year for the good folks at the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis beginning in 1910. He’s uploaded a clip from the 1914 The Temple of Moloch (1914). I think he may be getting his information from Eileen Bowser’s book The Transformation of Cinema, where on page 45, she references the film as one of many collaborations with the American Red Cross.
*I got my information from the AFI catalog. And the article quoted above also corroborates that date. According to the American Red Cross Museum, the release date was December 15, 1910 – perhaps there was an advance screening of the film on the 15th.
*Update* Susan Robbins Watson, archivist for the American Red Cross tells me that in 2009, the American Red Cross donated all of their films to the National Archives