Charity chain letter. Anaesthetics for allies in England.
Send 24 cents. Four copies. 500 generations. US, 1917.
Owing to the scarcity of anaesthetcis,
operations that cause indescribable pains have to be performed daily without
their aid to mitigate pain. We make an appeal to you to contribute 24 cents
toward the purchase of anaesthetics to use in the hospitals of the allies.
Please send four copies of this letter to your friends. Do not
fail or the chain will be broken.
You will note on the enclosed list a number of prominent business
men who have answered the call and I trust that you will co-operate towards
pushing this call along to the final 500 number. - Mason City Morning
Published: Marble Rock Journal
(Marble Rock, Iowa), April 12, 1917, p. 3. NEW CHAIN LETTER MAKES APPEARANCE.
Ft. Dodge, Iowa, April 9. - "A brand new chain letter which promises to rival
the famous $4.00 petticoat for ten cents which recently swamped the mails
of Minneapolis, has been received in Fort Dodge. Perhaps the new letter is
more up to date. First copies of it were exhibited about here from Webster
City and Dubuque. The new letter asks that a sum of 24 cents be donated for
the fund being made to buy anaesthetics to use in the hospitals for the allies
in England." "The money is sent to Mrs. Elizabeth Whitman, superintendent
of nurses, 218 Second avenue, New York City. The proposition may be
a legitimate one. No reference are given however, and the natural inclination
of all who receive it is to doubt its truthfulness."
This chain letter became abundant. Note that the "enclosed list" is not given.
Perhaps that is where Mrs. Whitman's address appeared. The "24 cents" suggests
the appeal may have started in England, since that was the value of a shilling
at the time. The chain letter would have had a generation count on it, perhaps
at the top. Entered by DWV, July 22, 2014.
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