History of Hale Northeastern, Inc.
The Founding of Hale - May 1901
Hale got its start in 1901 during the Pan American Exposition held in Buffalo, NY. The Pan American Exposition was a world class event that introduced the world to commercial AC electricity and had many notable attendees. Realizing a need for decorative support, the organizers of The Pan American Exposition turned to a local florist named George D. Hale. Using his talents, George decorated many of the venues created for and used during the Pan American Exposition and this is how Hale came into existence.
Pan American Exposition 1901 – Hale’s Work on Display
It was clear early on that George would need to do more than just provide floral arrangements for the Pan American Exposition, so he expanded his services and began decorating with lattice work, festooning, bunting and flags to create a more festive atmosphere. Through his meticulous attention to detail, many national leaders and captains of industry who were in attendance took note of George’s work. After the exposition, George began receiving requests to provide his services in other cities such as Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City (just to name a few).
The 1930’s – Great Depression – Passing the Torch
Hale grew and prospered under George Hale and in the late 20’s the time came to pass the company on to his son George D. Hale Jr. No one could foresee the economic downturn the American economy would take in the 30s and George Jr. struggled to keep Hale afloat during the time infamously known as The Great Depression.
The Early 1940’s – World War II – A Time of Patriotism
George D. Hale Jr. was able to endure the hardships faced in the 1930’s, and when World War II broke out, patriotic enthusiasm created a much-needed increase in business for Hale.
Well known aerospace defense contractors and auto manufacturing companies were based in Buffalo, NY in the 1940s. Companies like Curtis Wright, Bell Aircraft and American Car and Foundry Company called on Hale to decorate their assembly facilities creating a patriotic atmosphere and producing enthusiasm amongst their workers.
The Late 1940s to Early-1950s – A Third Generation
At the end of World War II, George D. Hale Jr. passed the company on to his two sons Neil Hale and Don Hale. During the Hale brother’s tenure, the exposition and special events industries saw a rebirth. Hale thrived as the country retooled to satisfy the need of a vibrant economy and new public interest.
The Early 1950s to Early 1960s – A New Era – Hale Goes International
Neil Hale and Don Hale were at the helm for only a short period of time when Don became ill. Due to Don’s failing health, Neil sold Hale to a local food executive, Charles Howell.
Under Charles leadership in 1957, Hale expanded its business into the international market and opened a Canadian Division of Hale making it an international company. In addition to servicing cities across the United States out of Buffalo, NY, the Canadian Division of Hale serviced the Greater Toronto area in Ontario Canada. Shortly after its creation, the Canadian Division of Hale was performing one half of Hale’s total business.
In 1962, Charles son Richard Howell took interest in Hale and left his job as a teacher to work alongside his father and learn the business.