The History of Rubber Stamps
It was Charles Goodyear in 1844, who discovered the process by which the Rubber is cured while experimenting in his kitchen. He droped a mixture of rubber and sulphur on his hot stove and found that the rubber was still flexible the next day. He called this process vulcanisation. At first, this process was used to make plastermolds for dentistry. Vulcanised Rubber was used to make denture bases.
In the year 1966, James C. Woodruff started experimenting with a Vulcaniser. He asked his brother, who was a dentist, for advise and after experimenting with the dental pot, the first Rubber Stamps was created. The first picture stamps were created by a German artist Kurt Schwatting as early as 1919. Early Rubber Stamps consisted of words to mark packages and manufactured products. Stamp Suppliers started to spring up in Ohio, Ilinois and Caliifornia. The demand for rubber stamps for businesses started to get big in the 1950's. Stamps were produced by Lead Hand Type. In the late 1950's, a Lead Casting Machine was developed in England by Ludlow to produce the Type by line, which was first used by News Paper Companies to print news papers. More modern Lead Casting Machines were developed in form of a huge typewriter to speed-up the casting process.
Since Hand Type was a very slow and tidious process to make stamps, these new casting machines became very popular in the Rubber Stamp Industry. More and more companies started to invest in equipment called Ludlow, Linotype and Intertype. Heat Vulcanizers and Sheet Molding Matrix Materials such as Bakelite and Sheet Stamp Rubber became available in the 1960's. This was the real Beginning of the Rubber Stamp Industry in the United States with more and more companies starting to manufacture Rubber Stamps. The Major "3" Rubber Stamp Supliers for our Industry were Consolidated Stamp Mfg., Louis Melind Co. and Stewart-Superior Industries.
I personally got my start in Rubber Stamps in 1962 at Patterson Stamp Company in New Jersey, specializing in Engraved Rubber Stamps and Inspection Stamps for industrial use. This process was considered hi-tech manufacturing. In 1963, I moved to Los Angeles, California, where I became employed at the largest Stamp Company in California, Los Angeles Stamp & Stationery, located Downtown Los Angeles in their own 6-Story Building, manufacturing everything from Stationery, Signs, Engraving, Steel Stamps, Printing and Rubber Stamps & Marking Devices. One year later, the company was sold to a new owner and unfortunately, the company went out-of business in 1964.
In 1971, I decided to start my own company, Western Stamp & Engraving Co., located in North Hollywood, California, producing Steel Roll Marking Stamps for the Tool Manufacturing Industry in addition to making Rubber Stamps with Hand Type. In 1972, I purchased a Intertype Machine, which was my beginning in the Rubber Stamp Business. In 1978, new Photo Typesetting Equipment was developed to speed-up the typesetting process. In the 1980's, Electronic Computers became available and slowly started to take over almost everything in our industry from Typesetting to Accounting. In 1991, my company introduced the first Pre-inked Non-porous Stamp, the W-Super Stamp at the Tradeshow in Atlanta, Georgia and it became a huge success. In 1997, my comany was also one of the first stamp companies, producing Rubber Stamps by Laser Engraving. In 1998, Flash Technology was developed to manufacture pre-inked stamp, the latest Technology to date with the Speed of Light. My company, Western Stamp & Engraving Co. continued to improve the Flash Technology Process by developing the 1st Waterbase Ink Flash Stamp in the World.
Which Technology will be next in the Stamp Manufacturing Industry? This is a Million Dollar Question???