The History of Hallmark
Excerps taken directly from the Hallmark site
"When Joyce C. Hall arrived in Kansas City, his inventory of postcards fit into a couple of shoeboxes, but his dreams couldn't be contained. It was 1910 and the Norfolk, Nebraska, teenager was determined to make his mark in the business world. Little did it matter that his first office would be a room at the YMCA, or that he had so little cash he couldn't afford to pay a horse-drawn cab to get him there. He had big plans and the energy to make them happen.
Hall's plan depended on launching a successful mail-order program using the samples he stored under his bed. So he printed some invoices, and began sending packets of a hundred postcards each to dealers throughout the Midwest.
A few of the dealers kept the cards without paying. A few returned the unsolicited merchandise with angry notes. But about a third of them sent a check. In just a couple months, the 18-year-old businessman had earned $200 and opened a checking account for his promising business.
Despite his initial success, Hall was convinced that illustrated postcards were only a passing fancy. He envisioned a market for higher quality cards -- Valentine's and Christmas greetings -- that would be mailed in envelopes. His instincts held true. By 1915 Hall Bros., was manufacturing its own cards, on its own presses, in its own plant. In 1923, J.C., and brothers Bill and Rollie Hall, along with their 120 employees, moved from tiny offices and rental space in four separate buildings into a brand new six-story plant."
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