Marcus Ward & Co., was an outcome of a company, John Ward and sons, that was created in 1802 by three men. After John Ward's death in the mid 1830's, his son Marcus Ward, created Marcus Ward & Co. which was based out of Belfast. This new company's main focus was stationery and general publishing. The company won a metal at the Great Exhibition in 1851, for colour lithography. By the 1860's the company was creating greeting cards and calendars. Their greeting cards became so successful they began hiring talented artist such as Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane as illustrators.