A Brief History of the Rubber Stamp Logo and Why It’s Still Important Today

Let’s face it — rubber stamps are fundamental in the modern world. True, there is always a certain formality created by the seals that make things look legit and official.

However, the truth is, the majority of people do not know how rubber stamps came to be or why they are still significant to us. The history of rubber stamps can be traced to as far as the 5,000-3,500 AD

Today, there are over ten types of rubber stamps. They range from the latest version of pre-inked and self-inking rubber stamps to the more traditional models.

From wax to ink, to rubber, logos have come a long way. Learn about the history of the rubber stamp logo and why it is still relevant even in today’s society.

What are Rubber Stamps?

Before we get to the history of rubber stamps, let’s first find out their meaning. Typically, as you might have guessed — a rubber stamp is as its name suggests.

It is merely a rubber with markings, names, dates, or images carved onto a sheet of rubber and uses ink to stamp or leave marks on a surface or document.

Wax seals – The First Form of Stamping

In the current digital world, artists, lawyers, government, and non-government institutions, as well as business owners, use acrylic or approved rubber stamp to show their address and corporate logo.

Nonetheless, these forms of stamping were inspired by the traditional method that dates back to ancient times. Wax seal is the first form of stamping.

Unlike today where wax is mainly used for decorative purposes, decades ago, it was necessary for stamping official documents and verifying the authenticity of products. Wax seals were curved out of materials such as bones and stones and were shaped like long tubes.

Archaeologists found wax seals that date back to the 5,000-3,500 AD (ancient Mesopotamia) and were pressed out into clay to stamp on surfaces.

The History of Rubber

Indeed, rubber stamps would not have existed if the rubber would not have been discovered. Technically, rubber comes from plants. It is harvested from tropical plants. The earliest form of commercial production of rubber was at the beginning of the mid-1880 in Brazil.

Currently, India is the leading producer of natural rubber. Charles Goodyear is the inventor of vulcanized rubber. Vulcanization is a chemical process that involves turning natural rubber into a more durable material. 

Vulcanization is done by adding a curative such as sulfur. The discovery of tires and rubber stamps was made possible in the year 1839 after Goodyear accidentally dropped natural rubber on a hot stove. By 1844, he managed to perfect the art of vulcanization and was allowed to manufacture tires and rubber stamps on a large scale.

The History of Stamping Ink

Back in the 1450s, when the Gutenberg press was invented, the first form of printing books was done with an oil-based ink that was evenly spread on the material. However, the process was quite daunting. It was also slippery and took quite a long time to dry.

As a result, the original inks were created to ease the process. The inks did not only come with linseed oil but also stuck quickly on the materials. However, although the inks were capable of producing exceptional results, its manufacture took quite a long time.

Due to the nature of the oil itself, the inks had to sit for at least a year. It was to allow any sticky substance in ink to ultimately settle. For this reason, they added litharge or lead monoxide in ink to make to speed up the process.

Over time, other elements, including vegetable oils rich in fatty acids and petroleum, were used to shorten the process even more. The discovery was fundamental in ensuring the success of other forms of stamping inks such as water and pigment-based inks.

Who Invented Rubber Stamps?

Although it might sound quite evident that the discovery of vulcanized rubber paved the way to the invention of rubber stamps, three inventors claimed to have invented the first accurate rubber stamp. James Orton Woodruff is the first inventor to have the first rubber stamp approved.

His discovery happened in the 1860s after witnessing wooden washtubs being stamped. He used what he had seen to manufacture an improved rubber stamp with handles.

Henry C. Leland is the second inventor behind the invention of the first rubber stamp with a name. In an interview from the publication Trade News, Leland claimed that he invented the first rubber stamp in the 1860s.

At the time, he worked as a salesman in Massachusetts, where he sold metal stamps. His invention was inspired by a customer who was looking for a means to stamp round broom handles.    

Claimant L.F is the third inventor. The Illinois-based inventor claimed to have made his invention in the 1860s. According to Claimant, he was looking for a paint alternative to stamp the metal pumps he manufactured.

Rubber Stamp Logo Today and Why It’s Still Relevant

With the current advancements in technology, there is no doubt that the stamping trend integrated into our offices today is the perfect blend of the traditional and modern art of stamping. 

The introduction of a laser engraving self-inking rubber stamp is a game-changer. View here to see it making long-lasting, unique impressions.

In addition to this must-buy stamp, another popular form of stamping is a photopolymer. Also known as a clear acrylic stamp, it is quite popular mainly due to its ability to be used with acrylic blocks.

Besides, these stamps are transparent and much less expensive to make as compared to the majority of traditional rubber stamps. 

Is Rubber Stamp Logo Here to Stay?

Yes, rubber stamps will stay longer than most people can predict. More advancements are expected to enhance this historic device. The rubber stamps input not only a sense of professionalism but also are fun to use at the home office, among other places.

Indeed, the rubber stamp logo could not be the enjoyable craft it is today without the technology of our inventors. Check us out for more topics to keep you entertained and informed.