This Day in Financial History

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January 10:

1910: Joyce C. Hall, a teenage boy from Norfolk, Nebraska, opens a new business, storing his inventory in a couple of shoeboxes in a room at the YMCA in Kansas City. He begins by selling illustrated postcards by mail-order, but soon he hits on the idea of what he calls greeting cards. He does $200 in business his first two months, and Hallmark, Inc. is born — making bad poetry, canned emotion (and, yes, good wishes too) a part of American life
Hallmark public relations department;
1901: The Spindletop gusher blows its top on a hill near Beaumont, Texas, as a drill hits an oil deposit 1,006 feet below ground, sending black gold spouting 100 feet into the air at the astounding rate of 80,000 barrels per day. It takes nine days to get the well safely capped. Within a year, 285 competing wells have been sunk and some 600 companies have sprung up. Nearly all of them fail. The major survivors: Gulf (originally the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co.), Mobil (Magnolia Petroleum Co.) and Texaco (the Texas Co.).
1870: John D. Rockefeller, Sr. founds The Standard Oil Co. (Ohio) with $1 million in capital and control of a tenth of the nations oil refining. The Standard Oil Co., he says, will someday refine all the oil and make all the barrels.
Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (Random House, New York, 1998), p. 132.
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