We recently wrote an article detailing how Rubber Stamps are anything but boring. After all, stamps are fun yet practical, formal yet distinctive – they provide businesses and individuals with a way of literally stamping their personality on whatever document they deem worthy of a seal of approval.
For those who are still rubber stamp-ambivalent, we have collected five little-known facts about rubber stamps that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
1 – Rubber stamps have dark political undertones
The term ‘rubber stamp’ is often used to refer to an institution or person that endorses decisions without giving them sufficient thought. Quite literally the power wielder will ‘stamp’ their seal of approval on decisions without careful consideration of the outcome. The term is mostly reserved for dictatorships that make all-powerful decisions but attempt to formalise the decision-making process in order to give the impression of being democratic.
2 – Fire gods approve of rubber stamps
The first recognised process of creating rubber was known as vulcanisation – a term derived from the Roman god of fire, Vulcan. The process involved mixing gum elastic with heat and sulphur, and was a prelude to the invention of the humble rubber stamp. The process actually occurred by accident in 1839 when Charles Goodyear, and inventor with a near-maddening interest in rubber, inadvertently spilled these ingredients together. A case of serendipity, or divine intervention? You decide.
3 – Rubber stamps and teeth are closely entwined (sort of)
The creation of the first rubber stamp is closely linked to dentistry. The same year that Charles Goodyear’s vulcanisation process received a patent, anaesthesia was also patented by a gentleman named Wells. The offshoot of Wells’ discovery was that dentists began removing teeth from their patients left, right and centre, prompting demand for false teeth to skyrocket. Denture basis made from vulcanised rubber were an ideal solution – cheap, easy to mould and derived through the same process as the first rubber stamp.
4 – Rubber Stamps are so important that they have their own dedicated trade magazine
It’s true! And it’s not just the current publication, Marking Industry Magazine, which has whet the appetite of stamp aficionados. One historical publication, Stamp Trade News, first went into circulation over a century ago! To quote from humble Stamp Trade News, “No blood flows from a turnip nor does wealth flow from rubber made into Rubber Stamps at 10 cents per line” – we couldn’t have put it any better.
5 – E=MC Stamp: Albert Einstein’s quantum theory used in the manufacturing of rubber stamps
In 1917 Albert Einstein wrote a paper entitled On the Quantum Theory of Radiation, which established the theoretical principles of the laser. Today, many rubber stamps are engraved through the use of a laser-based engraving device. Stand aside The Theory of Relativity, and enter Rubber Stamp Theory!
The rubber stamp may be a humble, practical device, but the facts surrounding it are certainly colourful to say the least!