Born just five years after our ClockTower in 1891,
J. C. Hall, youngest son,
was raised in poverty.
But he had energy and pluck and by the age of 16 he was running his own business, selling postcards from a shoebox door-to-door.
People seemed to like postcards and in 1909 he settled in Kansas City, opening a modest shop with his two older brothers.
A 1915 fire swept the shop leaving him $17,000 in debt and with no inventory.
That’s over $406,000 today.
But he recognized his customers wanted more privacy and so he purchased printing presses and began printing elegant cards in gold leaf and embossments with envelopes at higher prices.
And then he displayed them on a rack he designed himself.
The rest is history.