Feature

Who invented wrapping paper?

96 years ago, two brothers stumbled into a multi-billion dollar business

Stationery purveyors J.C. and Rollie Hall ran into a problem during the 1917 holiday season: Business had been too good at their Kansas City, Mo., shop, and they'd run out of the white, red, and green tissue papers that were the era's standard gift dressing.

Poking around the shop, Rollie realized they still had a stack of fancy French paper meant for lining envelopes. On a lark, he placed the lining paper in a showcase and priced it at 10 cents a sheet. The paper sold out instantly. The next year, the Hall brothers pressed their luck, offering the fancy paper again during the holiday season. Again, it flew off shelves.

By 1919, the brothers had decided to print their own special paper for concealing presents, and the gift wrap business was born.

Today, wrapping paper is a $3.2 billion industry, and you can buy it by the roll at the Halls' store, Hallmark.

Recommended

Photography director killed by Alec Baldwin's prop gun on New Mexico movie set, authorities say
Alec Baldwin
Breaking News

Photography director killed by Alec Baldwin's prop gun on New Mexico movie set, authorities say

6 single-story homes
Home.
Feature

6 single-story homes

The soil of fairy tales
A gardener.
Picture of Bonnie KristianBonnie Kristian

The soil of fairy tales

The upside of urban decline
A scale.
Samuel Goldman

The upside of urban decline

Most Popular

Manchin clarifies he offered to become an independent if it helped Democrats
Joe Manchin.
he said, he said

Manchin clarifies he offered to become an independent if it helped Democrats

Archaeologists used tree rings, astrophysics to prove Vikings were in Canada in 1021
L'Anse aux Meadows
Running Rings around Columbus

Archaeologists used tree rings, astrophysics to prove Vikings were in Canada in 1021

The 'Trump app' will be the insurrection on steroids
Donald Trump.
Picture of Damon LinkerDamon Linker

The 'Trump app' will be the insurrection on steroids