Charity chain letter (as published). Red Cross (Whitman).
Send 24¢ for chloroform, four copies. US, 1917.
Owing to the scarcity of anaesthetics, operations that
cause indescribable pain have to be performed daily, without their aid to
mitigate suffering. We make an appeal to you to contribute 24 cents
toward the purchase of chloroform for use in the hospitals of the Allies.
Please send four copies of this appeal to your friends, and put No. _ on
your letters. Do not fail or the chain will be broken. Please
send money to Miss Elizabeth Whitman, Superintendent of Nurses, New York
Eye and Ear Infirmary, 281 Second Ave., New York City.
New York Times, June 3, 1917 (I, 12:1). Article titled "WAR ENDLESS
CHAIN OVERWHELMS NURSE," subtitled "Appeal She Started with Four Friends
Brings in Thousands of Dollars for Relief" and "END IS NOT YET IN SIGHT."
See also New York Times, Feb. 9, 1917 (20:4) and April 1, 1917 (letter).
Says "started more than two years ago." "She [Miss Whitman] proposed to stop
the chain when it reached 100 letters, through the medium of numbering each
letter sent out, but the chain went on beyond 100, and is now on its way
to the 500 mark, where the American Committee of the British Red Cross hopes
to stop it, but is not certain of being able to." Article says quarters were
sent - but letter solicits 24 cents (typo? or one shilling). After two years
it had raised about $28,000 when taken over by the American Committee of
the British Red Cross. The text as published apparently omits a number at
the top, and instructions for self-termination.
The Paper Chain Letter Archive
- contents Chain Letter Evolution.