Saturday, July 5, 2014

Harry Doehla Company Greeting Cards

Occasionally I find something at one estate sale that is related to something I find at another sale.

Such was the case with the Cute Kitten get-well card.

I bought it, along with several dozen other used 1950s greeting cards, at one estate sale.  When I got it home and looked at the image, I thought, "Where have I seen that design before?"  After a moment's reflection, I got out the small stack of 1954 copy of Boys' Life magazines I'd picked up at another and flipped through them.


The kitten card was in an ad exhorting the young readers to sell greeting cards for fun and profit.

The ad was for the Harry Doehla Company of Nashua, New Hampshire.  I'd heard of that somewhere before.... I then retrieved a "salesman's sample" book of old greeting cards that I'd found at another estate sale and, bingo again, the book held cards by the same company, Harry Doehla.

This collection of Christmas cards was even endorsed by Art Linkletter.

Inside the album were samples of Christmas card designs that the buyer could have pre-printed with their name, saving time and adding a certain style to the greeting.

Harry Doehla's business was one of several greeting card companies operating during the 1930s through 1960s that had teenagers and adults sell their wares to family, friends, club members, congregation members and anyone else who might need to send a greeting to another person.  

Doehla was an unexpected American entrepreneur.  An illness left him in a wheelchair at age 18.  With his parents' help, Doehla invested in greeting cards that other people would sell, and he was a millionaire by age 32.  His company operated nationwide.

Another blogger has chronicled the history of the Harry Doehla Company:

And here's a 1962 newspaper article on the company:,5946058

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