The History Link


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Case Study: Hilliard Lyons – 150th Anniversary

Hilliard Lyons quotation

Many of The History Link's clients have contributed significantly to the origin of their communities’ infrastructure, and currently remain powerful industry and community figures, as corporate icons!

Hilliard Lyons is a corporate icon of Louisville, Kentucky, where they began business in 1854. Their marketing department, backed by the new CEO’s vision for the years ahead, called on our Creative Team to design and implement their 150th Anniversary Celebration.

This year-long commemoration began early in January with a kick-off event for employees and the media. The CEO proudly announced the 150th anniversary of the firm and described plans for the commemoration year ahead. He then unveiled the branding that we mounted on a large board, later to be positioned in the lobby entrance.

The branding of their anniversary year was “hit out-of-the-ballpark” by our Creative Team! The CEO stated he wanted to impress their audiences with “exactly how old the company really is” and “this firm stands for honesty, at a time when corporate America’s ethics have become questionable.” That challenge was answered with “Proof That Integrity Is Timeless,” and we tagged Honest Abe Lincoln, President about that time, to be a part of our celebration as we moved forward.

From their existing archived information and photos, plus research of the global, national, state and local events that paralleled Hilliard Lyons’ sequential development, we created a strong and interesting timeline. The beautiful graphics were printed on clear Lexan sheets and encased in two eight-foot, lighted frames. The frames were a part of a brushed aluminum, twenty-foot wide structure that held a flat screen monitor. The ribbon-cutting in the slideshow on this page shows the museum setting that was used to display the timeline. The monitor was used to project the Hilliard Lyons’ historical video at a formal client/dignitary anniversary celebration in a hotel ballroom. It was then moved to their corporate offices, where we continued to expand on the project.

The History Team researched and procured artifacts dating back to the 1800s. We collected elements to display in custom-built glass-top cases. These cases gave authentic credibility to the total museum.

Hilliard Lyons’ marketing group decided to have us print the art that was produced for the timeline display in a booklet format. Some 15,000 historical documentations were distributed to their multiple offices throughout the United States, to share the story of their 150 years in business. This is certainly a testimony to a good ROI of the time and dollars invested in the timeline art.

Our team located an excellent impersonator of Abe Lincoln, in Springfield, Illinois. This gentleman came “back” to Kentucky to appear at the historical celebrations we were creating. One of these events included a picnic for all Hilliard Lyons’ employees, to which “Mr. Lincoln” brought a display of artifacts, toys and more. An absolute chill went through the still crowd as he stood with his hand in the vest beneath his long-tailed, black coat and gave the Gettysburg Address!

The picnic was definitely your grandfather’s picnic! The Event Team hired various costumed reenactment groups to be a part of the old New Salem village of Lincoln’s day. We set up small shops and used split-rail fencing to surround the brick maker, the broom maker, the tin maker, the blacksmith, the quilting shop and more. A few of the ol’ fashioned games were the four-foot hoops the children rolled with a stick (often shown in old history books), relay races, using relics of the past, and a watermelon seed-spitting contest! Period costumed dancers demonstrated and taught “The Virginia Reel” to the delight of all, as the guests sat on straw bales eating their picnic lunch – which included biscuits and apple butter! The response of attendees to this event gave us a AAA rating, and applauded our client for this wonderful family reunion!

Our Letter of Recommendation from Hilliard Lyons tells of their appreciation for all the projects we created and implemented for their 150th anniversary, plus, how they enjoyed working with our team.

We can bring that same positive experience to you and your company. Email us or call us at 502-426-3021.

Footnote, 2011: Hilliard Lyons updated their timeline by adding another 4 feet to include the following 7 years.  The History Link made a replica of the updated timeline and sent it to North Carolina for their new facility.