The History of Rubber Stamps
There is always a starting point for everything in life. It is either invented or discovered. For rubber stamps, it was invented. The question is, who invented it? And how was it invented? If that's why you are on this page, then you are on the right page. Please ensure you read to the very end of this article.
The history of rubber stamps dates back to the 1800s. But before then, rubber has been in use as early as the 1700s. Rubber was first discovered in 1744 in Amazon River Basin by Charles Marie de la Condamine, A French explorer. At that time, it was just as an eraser for pencil marks. Till sometimes, in the 1800s, mechanical hand stamps were still in use. They were made from metal, and it was well known then.
It isn't easy to name a particular year as the time the rubber stamp was invented. Even now, there are two schools of thought as to who invented the rubber stamp. There is an intense debate as to who the rightful inventor of the rubber stamp is. This is why it is hard to name a year. Maybe if you read through their stories, you can decide on whose side you will stand.
L.F. Witherell made the initial claim to have invented the rubber stamp. He claimed he had been using fixed rubber letters to make a mark on his food pump products. He claimed he made the fixed rubber letters attached to his bedpost and from there mark his products. Although there were no proves of his claim, it is still a topic for debate if he invented the rubber stand or not.
The second person who is believed to have invented the rubber stamp is James Orton Woodruff. History has it that he borrowed his uncle's vulcanizers, which he was using in his dentistry practice, and used them to create a rubber stamp. He had evidence to prove his claim. Materials he printed with his invention were his proof. I think he should have been named as the inventor since he had evidence, or what do you think?
Following the high demand for the rubber stamp in 1866, L.F.W. Dorman began to produce vulcanizer made for the rubber stamp. This was the beginning of the rubber stamp commercialization. The use grew, and the demand started to rise as well. And within a short time, the number of rubber stamp manufacturers had grown so much that in 1892, the United States alone had up to 4000 manufacturers of the rubber stamp.
Going by these two narratives, who do you think invented the rubber stamp? Do you think Witherell should have been ascribed as the inventor of the rubber stamp? Although there was no evidence to prove that, but don't you think they could have tried his process and seen if it lead to an impression to determine if his claims were right. Whichever, I leave it to you to decide who your rubber stamp inventor is.