Pierre-François Martin founded the House of Martin in 1792. It specialized in box-making, trunk-making and packing, at a time whenthe golden age of the great trunk-makers of the late XIXth century was yet to come. Martin’s trade had more to do with the delicate art of garment folding and packing than with that of container making, as evidenced by his ad campaign, which stressed that "Maison Martin sells an assortment of boxes and cases; it provides quality packing services for fragile furniture and objects, as well as hats, gowns and flowers; it uses oiled canvas, plain canvas and straw for packing; manufacturer of horse carriage trunks and coat racks, it also supplies oilcloth and waterproof canvas, all at a fair price."
The house of Martin quickly became a favourite with the French aristocracy, and was eventually granted the prestigious tittle of official purveyor of HRH Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Siciles, Duchess of Berry. In 1834, the House of Martin moved its store from 4, rue Neuve des Capucines to 347, rue Saint-Honoré. Even though the postal address changed to 233, rue Saint-Honoré in 1856 on account of a new street numbering system, its location has remained the same ever since.
Pierre François Martin was the guardian of a young female ward, Pauline. He arranged her marriage to one of his employees, Louis-Henri Morel, and gave his business as her dowry. Morel followed in Martin’s footsteps, and introduced himself as the « Successor to former Maison Morel, located on rue Neuve-des-Capucines, near Place Vendôme ».
In 1845, Morel hired François Goyard as an apprentice. The 17-year old boy received training under the guidance of both Martin and Morel. When Morel died suddenly in 1852, François took over, and remained for 32 years at the helm of a house he took to a whole new level. He finally handed over the reins to his son Edmond in 1885.