Sunday, February 12, 2012
4345. Hallmark Bear
Hallmark Cards is a privately owned American company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1910 by Joyce C. Hall, Hallmark is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States. In 1985, the company was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Joyce Clyde Hall became captivated by a salesman who stopped by his family's store in 1906 in Norfolk, NE. Driven by the postcard craze of 1903, Hall decided to venture from retail of various products to wholesale of postcards. He moved his business to a larger market of Kansas City. As time went on, Hall became more convinced that greeting cards would become more prominent than postcards. Greeting cards, according to J.C. Hall, represented class, promised discretion and "they were more than a form of communication--they were a social custom.”
By 1915, the company was known as Hall Brothers and sold Valentine's Day and Christmas cards. In 1917, Hall and his brother Rollie "invented" modern wrapping paper when they ran out of traditional colored tissue paper. In 1922, the company expanded throughout the country. The staff grew from 4 to 120 people, and the line increased from holiday cards to include everyday greeting cards.
In 1928, the company adopted the name "Hallmark", after the hallmark symbol used by goldsmiths in London in the 14th century, and began printing the name on the back of every card. In the same year, the company became the first in the greeting card industry to advertise their product nationally. Their first advertisement appeared in Ladies' Home Journal and was written by J.C. Hall himself. In 1931, the Canadian William E. Coutts Company, Ltd., a major card maker, became an affiliate of Hall Brothers, which was Hall Brothers' first international business venture.
In 1944, it adopted its current slogan, "When you care enough to send the very best." It was created by C. E. Goodman, a Hallmark marketing and sales executive, and written on a 3x5 card. The card is on display at the company headquarters. In 1951, Hall sponsored a television program for NBC that gave rise to the Hallmark Hall of Fame, which has won 80 Emmy Awards. Hallmark now has its own cable television channel, the Hallmark Channel which was established in 2001. For a period of about 15 years, Hallmark owned a stake in the Spanish language network Univision.
In 1954, the company name was changed from Hall Brothers to Hallmark. In 1958, William E. Coutts Company, Ltd., was acquired by Hallmark; until the 1990s, Hallmark's Canadian branch was known as "Coutts Hallmark".