The company was founded in Manhattan in 1882 by brothers Charles S. Jonas and Richard A. Jonas. Their company, Charles S. Jonas and Brother, first operated in the niche field of paper ruling, where they provided the service of ruling lines on paper for customers.

After the turn of the century, businesses started to utilize filing systems with index cards and file folders. Thus began Charles S. Jonas and Brother first venture into manufacturing their own items. The product line was at first limited to index cards and guides, and gradually expanded, with sales covering a larger territory. The company was renamed Record Card Company in 1909, as a reflection of their new manufacturing endeavor

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