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The Imprint of Time: A Brief History of Custom Rubber Stamps

The Imprint of Time: A Brief History of Custom Rubber Stamps
By July 3, 2023

At Simply Stamps, the history of custom rubber stamps holds a special place in our hearts. Our commitment to crafting high-quality rubber stamps is deeply rooted in this rich history, as we draw inspiration from the innovative designs and purposes that have evolved over the years. Join us as we uncover the stories behind these small but mighty tools.

The Birth of Rubber Stamps

The story of rubber stamps begins with American chemist, Charles Goodyear, developing the first ever vulcanized rubber. According to, Goodyear accidentally discovered this process in 1839 by combining rubber and sulfur upon a hot stove. This allowed rubber to be hardened and made durable, opening the door to various applications. However, it wasn’t until the latter half of the century that the rubber stamp made its debut.

Although the official inventor of rubber stamps is up for debate, claims they were invented sometime between 1864-1866. The original rubber stamp model was a hand stamp made by attaching the rubber to wood. Today we can clearly see the resemblance in our traditional wooden hand stamp bodies.

In 1866, a salesman named J.F.W. Dorman was introduced to the rubber stamp and was the first to successfully commercialize the product. states that Dorman learned the technique of manufacturing rubber stamps and eventually became a supplier of rubber stamps. Other manufacturers started to copy his ideas and new rubber stamp companies began to form, making them increasingly more popular.

The Rubber Stamp Evolution

The late 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed the rubber stamp’s transition from factories to offices. Companies started using rubber stamps for various tasks, including marking invoices, addressing envelopes, and endorsing checks. Customization became increasingly important, allowing businesses to include their names, addresses, and other specific information on stamps.

Rubber stamps became an important tool in schools and classrooms as well. displays several rubber stamp sets that were used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These designs included letters, words, animals, buildings, and more.

As technology evolved, so did rubber stamp production methods. In the 20th century, photomechanical processes allowed for greater precision in stamp design. This paved the way for more intricate and personalized custom rubber stamps. Additionally, innovations like self-inking stamps reduced the mess associated with traditional ink pads.

Custom rubber stamps also found a place in the world of arts and crafts. From scrapbooking to handmade greeting cards, rubber stamps became an indispensable tool for adding unique and artistic touches to projects.

The Digital Age & Beyond

In a world where everything is increasingly digital, custom rubber stamps serve as a tangible link to the past, a reminder of simpler times when a simple press of ink on paper carried a powerful message. Their continued popularity is a testament to their versatility and enduring charm.

Whether it’s for marking important documents or adding a personal touch to handmade creations, custom rubber stamps continue to make their mark on history, leaving a lasting impression on the pages of time. It’s our privilege to continue the legacy of custom rubber stamps, offering our customers the means to leave their own unique mark on the world.

Posted in: Custom Stamps