Only The Best Will Do

As I continue to discover the world around me during the Big birthday year, I took a trip in my own backyard. I decided to find out more about the greeting card giant based in Kansas City.

In 1910, a young entrepreneur by the name of Joyce Clyde Hall arrived by train, with two shoe boxes of postcards under his arm and little money in his pocket. The local YMCA became his home and office as he set out to make his dream come true.

In January, 1915 with his brother Rollie at his side, the company, Halls Brothers was formed. But in the same year, a fire destroyed the office and inventory leaving only a salvageable safe and the brothers in debt. The devastation didn’t stop them but pushed the brothers forward as they purchased printing presses to create Valentines and Christmas cards to offer a public that desired more privacy in their correspondence. From the ashes, an idea for creating cards was born. It’s fun information like this that you’ll learn during your time at the Hallmark Visitor Center.

You’ll also see the following:

- Displays that show the timeline of the company’s birth.

- How J.C. Hall was the first to design such things as card display cabinets and in 1924 the first cards with sound.

- How the Peanuts became a part of Hallmark cards in the 1960’s.

- You’ll see Christmas tree displays.

- Watch a bow being made.

My favorites were the showcases of Santa Claus tree decorations and the history behind the creators of some of our favorite Hallmark ornaments.

Overall: The self-guided tour is truly remarkable and rich in history. The best part of all, it’s free.

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