Believe us when we tell you there is more to rubber stamps than first meets the eye. We have put together a collection of interesting facts about rubber stamps to inspire you too, so read on to find out more.
Let’s begin in 1736. French scientist, Charles Marie de la Condamine, sent a sample of ‘India’ rubber back to France after making his discovery in the Amazon River. Over a century later; the rubber he discovered went on to help make the rubber stamps that we know and love. Of course, that was not the original use of the rubber plant and its wonderful properties. Condamine noted how he had ‘…seen a substance excellently adapted to the purpose of wiping from paper the mark of black lead pencil.’ In 1770, the French put the idea to use by crafting small cubes of rubber to rub out pencil marks. But at that time the rubber cubes were so expensive that they did not gain wide popularity or use.
Earlier in the century in South America, tribes were found playing with a sticky bouncy ball made of rubber. Their fun and games failed to arouse any interest from the science community though. Other tribes were discovering other uses for the rubber plant such as using it as an adhesive to add extra flair to their outfits.
In Australia; aboriginal tribes were said to have used burnt rubber as part of a tattooing process. Rubber soot added to punctured skin gave the ideal results. Not that we’d recommend doing it to yourself!
It is thought that rubber stamps were used by Native Americans to mark patterns on their body that they would later tattoo. A less permanent tattooing solution in modern times; rubber stamps with various patterns (including birds; flowers; and tribal symbols) could be used to mark the skin as temporary tattoos.
In the early 1860s; the younger brother of the rubber stamp came into existence in the form of the brass mechanical dating stamp. An American inventor is said to be the father of the mechanical hand stamp. Before his invention, most stamping was done by hand and was a taxing process.
There is some dispute over who actually invented the first rubber stamp and indeed, when.
L.F. Witherell claimed to have invented the rubber stamp by accident when cutting stencils out of thin sheets of rubber packaging. Attaching these rubber letters to an old bedpost he went about creating an almost perfect ink impression as he stamped various surfaces. At an earlier date, however; another man was using a curbed bit of wood with rubber letters mounted on it to stamp bath tubs in New York City.
The history of rubber stamps is also closely interlinked with that of the dentistry industry as their invention was helped along by the use of rubber in dentistry moulds.
In modern times, the majority of rubber stamps are custom-made and made for business. Often these business rubber stamps include a business logo; company address; and contact details. In most cases, these kinds of rubber stamps are built to order. They are also available with moveable parts allowing the owner to change the letters; numbers; and more; to suit their own needs.
So, there you have it; interesting facts about rubber stamps all wrapped up in one handy blog post. Do you have any unusual or curious facts to share with us? We’d love to hear them!