The History Of Using Custom Stamps

In a technological age where so much can be done over the computer, it may seem odd that people still ask for custom rubber stamps. While it appears to be so, when you sit down and think about it, you will easily arrive at the conclusion that a rubber stamp is a useful device. In fact, you may decide to purchase a few custom stamps for your business in Orange County.

The First Stamps

Stamps have been used for centuries. People with wealth and status used a variation of what we used today to leave their mark. A ring pushed into sealing wax or a marking stone in paint, provided evidence from whom the message or document came. The Romans and Greeks employed such methods as did those in the Medieval Ages and afterwards.

The Chinese, however, had a different way of marking letters, documents and other items. By 100 years A.D., carved stamps of blocks of wood or other materials were dipped into ink and applied. Some variations of these basic carved blocks were also used in Europe by the 13th century. Stone, wood and brass sealed and marked important papers.

The Arrival of Rubber

Charles Marie de la Condamine (1701-1774), a French scientist and explorer of the Amazon River, was the first to send back a sample of rubber to a scientific group for study in 1736. Yet, the discovery was to lay dormant until Joseph Priestly (1733-1804)brought some back to England. Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), an American industrialist, stabilized it and introduced vulcanization in 1839, patenting it in 1844. Without his work, there would be no rubber stamps.

Creating Custom Stamps

Who actually invented rubber stamps is not definitive. The title of “founder” has many claimants including:

* James Orton Woodruff (1840- 1879), Auburn NY in 1866.

* Henry C. Leland of Lee, MA, in ca 1864.He recounts his tale in June 1910 in Stamp Trade News

* L.F. Witherell, Knoxville, Illinois in 1866. He tells his version in “How I Came to the Discover the Rubber Stamp”, a paper read at a convention of stamp enthusiasts in 1916

What is known specifically is that J.F.W. Dorman was among the first to successfully commercialize the product during the years following 1866. A decade later, the R.H. Smith Manufacturing Company was producing kits, one of which they exported to Peru (1873). Nor were they the only company to produce the now popular stamps. They began to spring up across the United States in places like Orange County, CA and Boston MA.

Custom Stamps Today

Technology slowly grew to improve the basic rubber stamp. After the end of World War II, plastic began to replace wood as components of the stamping mechanism. By 1970, improved self-inking stamps, originally invented by B. B. Hill in 1886, began to take over. Today, while the standard rubber stamp remains popular a whole new generation of custom stamps also flourishes.

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