History of ink stamps

Prehistoric stamps made with palm foun in France in cave

Stamps and later rubber stamps, was born from human need to repeat easilly forms, symbols, and later texts. This need is very ancient and stamps could have been discovered by prehistoric men, who already decorated caves using vegetal stamps.


Mesopotamian stamping devices

One of the oldest stamp has been discovered in Mesopotamia and is dated of 4.000 BC. It consists on an engraved cylinder rolled over a support to mark it.
This practice last in Greece and Italy with Signet ring.

In 1676, a regulation appears to rule postage costs all over France. Costs depends of distance, the name of the departure city become mandatory.
Till 1695 departure cities are written by hand but with the growth of mailing, first stamps appears.

First Stamps were engraved on wood, cork and others materials. These engraving took time and high precision.

Rubber stamp will develop quickly after 1839 when Charles Goodyear discovered accidentally a method to vulcanize rubber.

From this period, stamps creation expand very fast. It was possible to cast rubber in plaster molds. Rubber stamp as we now it was born...

Even if its discovery seems quite simple, stamp stay very useful today. It saves time and is still the best solution to print name and adress on mail, books, objects in our modern society.


Vintage self inking stamp

Self-inking stamp
years 1930s