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Dale’s Daily Data: Christmas Wrapping Paper

It might be easier to just hand somebody their Christmas gift in a bag, but that would spoil the fun of opening up a nicely wrapped package.  The tradition of wrapping gifts extends back centuries to the invention of paper by the Chinese in 105 AD  and how they made paper was kept a secret for almost 700 years until the process spread to Egypt, then on to Europe.  But in the hundreds of years following that, gifts were always wrapped in plain brown paper or tissue paper until the early 20th century.  That’s when the same company that founded the greeting card industry also inspired the tradition of gift wrap and it came almost by accident.  The Hall Brothers Stationery Store in Kansas City, Missouri ran out of colored tissue paper in the days leading up to Christmas in 1917.  With nothing else available, some customers decided to use some fancy french envelope lining papers that the Hall brothers sold for 10 cents a sheet.  Those lining papers quickly sold out, so more was brought in from a nearby paper plant.  They sold out of that too.  The following year they sold them 3 for a quarter and they sold better than the tissue paper.  The Hall brothers then put in an order for those same papers to be printed with holly, christmas bells and snowflakes and a new industry was born.  A few years later they introduced ribbon and bows.  We know the Hall brothers early beginnings today ……………. as Hallmark.

Hallmark is the leader in the gift wrap industry offering more than a thousand different gift wrap designs, 200 different ribbons and bows in 35 colors, more than 16-hundred gift bags and everything else for gift giving.

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