a little blog devoted to collecting vintage greeting cards


Hallmark ~Hall Brothers~ Rags2Riches GREETING CARD history

these two adorable cards are examples of some early Hallmark cards; they are both marked
A HALLMARK CARD COPYRIGHT HALL BROTHERS, INC ~which indicates they were made sometime between 1925 (probably after 1928) and 1948

Interestingly, Hallmark Company Inc. was built by three poor brothers from Nebraska. In the early 1900s postcards were popular and many young men found themselves as the Hall brothers, Joyce, Rollie and William, did~selling postcards; or in their case wholesaling postcards.
They pooled their money and founded the Norfolk Post Card Company. The oldest brother also had a book store in which they all worked. They grew to be wonderful leaders in business with high integrity.
Knowing a little about the company can help you figure out the age of the Hallmark treasure you have!
This beautiful Christmas card for "Our Pastor" shows the wise men and camels making their journey ;
it is marked "A HALLMARK CARD Copyright Hall Brothers, Inc. ~which indicates they were made sometime between 1925 (probably after 1928) and 1948~ before they started using the five point crown logo and having "Hallmark" written in script.

1910 ~founder of Hallmark Cards Inc, Joyce C. Hall (age 18) quit school, packed a couple of shoe boxes full of postcards,
and jumped on a train to Missouri.
There he sold postcards from his room at the YMCA
~and traveling around the local country side
~his brother, Rollie Hall, joins him in 1911 and  
Hall Brothers opened a specialty shop in downtown Kansas.

1912 Hall Brothers add greeting cards
 to their product line (at first they sold designs that were made by others and printed by others)

1915 Fire destroyed all inventory ~the brothers, Joyce and Rollie, borrow money and
buy an engraving firm
(which had previously done work for them) there they begin rebuilding their company.

1915 The Hall Brothers begin publishing their own Christmas Cards

1917 Hall Brothers are widely credited for "creating"
gift wrap
you can read more about that HERE 

1921 William joined his brothers in Kansas
by 1922 the company employed 120 and had sales reps in all 48 states
Incorporated 1923 Hall Brothers Company
1925 the word "Hallmark" first appeared on the back of a card
*Joyce picked the name Hallmark because of it's meaning to silversmiths and all that it implied~
plus it had the family name tied-in

this little tag shows one way cards were priced for sale.... paper tag, envelope, and card all attached with a little metal paperclip~~

1928 began using "Hallmark" name on the back of every card

1928 Ladies Home Journal Advertisement~ 
first nation wide Ad for greeting cards;
written personally by JC Hall

1932 Signed licensing agreement with Walt Disney

1936 Hall Brothers introduce an open rack for displaying and selling cards.
"Eye-Vision" displays were designed by Joyce and an architect.
Greeting cards had previously been stashed away under counters in boxes, an open fixture changed the face of greeting cards to the public.

1938 first radio advertising

1944 Ed Goodman, an advertising executive for Hallmark created the famous slogan,
"When You Care enough to send the very best"
it is said he was jotting down notes while reflecting on what Hallmark meant to him~
Caring, Quality and the Best

1949 copyright for five pointed Crown logo and Hallmark written in script font

This pretty kitten Wife Valentine shows the script font and 5 point crown

1951 Christmas Eve~first Hallmark Hall of Fame TV show~an opera opera Amahl and the Night Visitors

1950s Hall Brothers began opening card specialty retail shops

1954 changed name from "Hall Brothers" to "Hallmark Cards, Inc"
this sweet Christmas card for a Sweet Nanashows the 5 point crown logo~"Hallmark" in script and "Hallmark Cards, Inc."
1959 introduced Ambassador Card line

1960 introduced party decoration line; and began featuring Peanuts Characters
by Charles Schultz

1966 Joyce Hall retires as president and CEO and his son Donald J. Hall takes over.
"Good taste is good business" was Joyce's creed. Until 1966, no Hallmark greeting card reached the marketplace without his "O.K.J.C." imprimatur.
(an Imprimatur ~from Latin, "let it be printed")

1966 Hallmark International is created; a division of Hallmark Cards Inc.
~Hallmark International makes greeting cards and wrapping paper in over 30 languages and distributes to over 100 countries worldwide

Joyce Hall lived until 1982

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