The History of Gift Wrapping Paper

The practice of gift-wrapping Holiday gifts is a relatively new tradition. While Christmas cards were sent in the mid 19th century, it wasn’t until years later that Holiday wrapping caught on.
Early years of gift giving date back to the Romans. Gifts were given to one another around pagan celebrations, such as the Winter Solstice and Roman New Year. Years later, gift
giving became associated to the celebration of Christmas and connection to the Wise Men who brought gift to Jesus at his birth.
Early gifts were wrapped in tissue with white ribbon or heavier brown paper. In the 1890’s with the development of the printing press, folded decorative papers were produced and rotary systems allowed paper to be wrapped around cardboard rolls.
In 1903, Hi-Sill Manufacturing, founded by Eli Hyman and Morris Silverman, become the first American gift wrap company. America’s giant wrapping name, Hallmark, stumbled upon the gift-wrapping marketing by accident. In 1917, the Hall Brother’s offered red, green, and white tissue paper but sold out in their Kansas City, Missouri store a few days before Christmas. They ventured into the backroom and found decorative envelope liner. They brought it out to the selling floor and recommended as gift wrapping paper. It worked beautifully! They sold out and offered a wider selection the next year.
As they say, the rest is history!

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Janet Osterdock is ZOOM Media’s President and CEO where she focuses on campaign development and implementation. Janet founded ZOOM Cross-Media in 2009 with a team of highly skilled industry specialists. She has a heart for service and works side-by-side with clients to deliver integrated high-impact campaigns. In Janet’s words “implementation is everything and it can make the difference between average performance and outstanding performance.” In her spare time, Janet volunteers in pet therapy at Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Adam Osterdock is ZOOM Media’s Director of Business Development where he focuses on the integration of social, digital, and print media implementation in marketing campaigns. He rejoined Zoom directly after graduating from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he earned the Cal Alumni Leadership Award and represented UC Berkeley at multiple international business competitions. In his spare time, he volunteers by teaching workshops at the local community college on small business development and business-case analysis.

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