Latest News

A look back at 2016

Best Sellers

E/Q12 Spare Red Pad

£4.21

More Info

E/Q12 Spare Red Pad

Clan - Lamont

£14.95

More Info

Clan - Lamont

Christmas Penguin

£21.07

More Info

Christmas Penguin

MAX4.5P Ink Pad - Red

£6.07

More Info

MAX4.5P Ink Pad - Red

E/25 Spare Red Pad

£5.48

More Info

E/25 Spare Red Pad

We're Trusted

Secure payment by RBS Worldpay

Rubber Stamp Facts

Page 7: Early Days in the Rubber Stamp Industry - part 1

Rubber stamps are considered. a marking device. Today Thomas H Brinkman, Secretary of the Marking Device Associaition, defines marking devices as, "The tools with wich people,...add marks of identification or instruction to their work or product." The earliest roots in the marking device industry lie with early stencil makers. Many of the first rubber stamps were made by itinerant stencil makers. Since both were marking devices it was a compatible combination. The years from 1866 onward were peppered with the establishment of new stamp companies. Some were stencil makers adding stamps to their repertoire while others focused entirely on making rubber stamps.

J.F.W. Dorman is said to have been the first to actually commercialize the making of rubber stamps. He started as a sixteen-year-old traveling stencil salesman in St. Louis and opened his first business in Baltimore in 1865. In 1866 he learned the technique of making rubber stamps from an itinerant actor who claimed he learned the skills from the inventor. Dorman made his first stamps under cover of night with his wife's assistance in an effort to keep the process a secret. Dorman was an inventor, and his contributions to the industry were numerous. His eventual speciality was the manufacture of the basic tools of the trade - the vulcaniser. His company continues in business today.

The first stamp-making outfit ever exported form the U.S. to a foreign country was shipped by R.H.Smith Manufacturing Company to Peru in 1873. Back on the home front, companies continued to spring up. In 1880 there were fewer than four hundred stamp men, but by 1892 their ranks had expanded to include at least four thousand dealers and manufacturers. An amazing number of these first companies are still in business today, frequently under their original names or meged with others whose roots lie in the mid and late 1880's.

It was a small, tight knit industry, characteristics which it retains today. The longevity of the companies is no more astounding than the attitude of the stamp men themselves. Once in the business, people tended to stay loyal to it. During our research, we were amazed at the number of people who had spent forty or fifty or more happy years in the industry.

Index: