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.


Fun Fact

In 1915, Hall Brothers purchased engraving presses to begin printing and publishing greeting cards, becoming a manufacturer for the first time.