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.


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