Hallmark History & Timeline

 

JC Hall on streets of Kansas City Hallmark's Eye-Vision greeting card display JC standing by Hallmark headquarters JC & Don looking at Crown Center model Crayola Crayons in a box Recordable Storybooks
Founding
1910s
Early Innovation
1910s - 30s
Building a Brand
1930s - 50s
Growing and Expanding
1960s - 80s
Building for
the Future
1980s - 90s
Innovation 
21st Century
& Beyond

 

View a Flash timeline of our first 100 years

 


Founding: 1910s

J.C. Hall on streets of Kansas City

Our story begins in 1910, when 18-year-old Joyce Clyde Hall stepped off a train in Kansas City, Mo., with nothing but two shoeboxes of postcards under his arm. He had little money – not even enough to take a horse-drawn cab to his lodgings at the YMCA – but he had an entrepreneurial spirit and the determination of a pioneer. Hall quickly made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold.

Rollie Hall joined his brother in business, and the company was named Hall Brothers. On Jan. 11, 1915, a fire destroyed their office and inventory. They took the only salvageable item – their safe – and set up shop again. With $17,000 in debt, they decided to press onward. As postcard sales declined, they recognized the public's desire for more privacy in their communication, so they started offering high-quality valentines and Christmas cards mailed in envelopes. The fateful fire resulted in the decision to buy printing presses and begin producing their own greeting cards in 1915.