The Intriguing History of Stamps

The history of stamps goes back more than 9,000 years. We will look at everything from cylindrical seals to the highly sophisticated modern stamps band we at Short Order Products sell online now, as we examine this history and how the stamp has evolved over the years.

Cylinder Seals (7,800 BCE)

The cylinder seal was the stamp’s original form. Before the modern day custom stamps band came into being, we had a cylinder seal that was a tiny round object that is normally about one inch (2 to 3 cm) long and was engraved with written characters, figurative scenes, or both. In ancient times, cylinder seals were used to roll an imprint onto a two-dimensional medium, usually wet clay, leaving a permanent mark. According to some sources, cylinder seals were created in the Near East around 3500 BC, at the modern day sites of Uruk in southern Mesopotamia and, after that, at Susa in the regions of south-western Iran during the Proto-Elamite period. They are thought to have followed the development of stamp seals in the Hale culture or even a little earlier. They were related to the development of cuneiform lettering on clay tablets, which was used by the latter. The first cylinder seals, according to other sources, belong to the Late Neolithic era (7600–6000 BC), centuries before writing was developed. Impressions seals, which also comprise finger ring seals and stamp seals, include cylinder seals as a subcategory. Particularly in the Babylonian as well as early Assyrian periods, they are important as art and are still around in pretty great quantities. It is possible to take impressions into soft materials without running the risk of damaging the seal, and these impressions are sometimes shown in museums with a more recent impression on a thin strip.

Block Printing on Wood (220 CE)

Long before the printing press was developed, ancient China produced the oldest instance of what we today know as stamping. The procedure, known as woodblock printing, included cutting pictures and inscriptions into a piece of wood before using ink and cloth to create an impression. The procedure was used to create books and ornamental silks, and the Diamond Sutra, a 5-metre-long Buddhist scroll with an 868 CE date, is the earliest surviving example. The earliest preserved instances of Chinese textile printing from before 220 AD come from this region. By the 7th century AD, woodblock printing was practised in Tang China, and until the 19th century, it was the most popular method of text and image reproduction throughout East Asia. The most popular variety of Japanese woodblock art printing is ukiyo-e. With the exception of block books, which were mostly produced in the 15th century, the majority of European applications of the printing process on paper are encompassed by the artistic term woodcut.

Seals Made of Wax (500 CE)

Seals have been around since a number of the oldest recorded civilizations. The Mesopotamian and Indus Valley civilizations, which were functioning from 150 BCE to 3300 BCE respectively, had actual instances to show for their theories and theories in action. The early seals were formed of clay and imprinted with the aid of rings or cylinders. The Middle Ages were the first time that wax was used in seals. By the 13th century, wax seals had spread and were widely employed by monks, guilds, aristocracy, and finally the general public. Originally, wax seals were only used by important people to validate papers, such as bishops, kings, and royal spokespeople. Due to the high rate of illiteracy throughout the 13th century, each seal would indeed be distinctive to its possessor and was frequently used in replacement of a signature. There are certain instances where wax seals are stamped immediately on some kind of document, but it is more typical to have them be stamped individually and attached to the bottom of a manuscript with a cord, thread, or piece of parchment.

Beeswax was eventually completely eliminated in later years, although during this time the wax was often manufactured using two thirds beeswax and one third resin. The Pope, for instance, would use a sort of lead termed bulla, from which the phrase “papal bulls” is from, to seal papers. Important persons would frequently employ a more expensive material.

The Printing Press (1450 CE)

In Europe in the 14th century, block printing on wood was widespread but expensive and time-consuming. This prompted several metalworkers to try out movable type. This brings us to Germany around the year 1440, when crafter Johannes Gutenberg created the movable-type printing machine, sparking the beginning of the Printing Revolution. A solitary Renaissance movable-type printing press, which was based on the design of modern screw presses, could print up to 3,600 pages in a single workday, as opposed to 40 pages printed by hand and a few copies made by hand, and this was a significant improvement. The precise and quick mass production of metal moveable type was made possible by Gutenberg’s newly developed hand mould. Together, his two innovations—the hand mould as well as the movable-type printing press—dramatically decreased the cost of publishing books and other documentation in Europe, especially for smaller print runs.

Fast-Drying Ink (1800s)

A more significant technological advance than just a metal was made when Johannes Gutenberg brought widespread publishing to Europe during the 1440s due to this moveable type press. It was also necessary to create a new type of ink. Over the years, ink has been produced using a variety of materials, including lead, egg whites, soot, turpentine, and egg. There are several reasons why printers incorporate chemicals into their inks. Solvents were not introduced, however, until the 19th century, which significantly reduced the amount of time it required for the ink to dry. Coupled with the printing press, this made a substantial difference in the global illiteracy rate.

Rubber Stamps (1860s)

When French adventurer Charles Marie de la Condamine uncovered rubber inside the Amazon River Basin in 1736, the history of rubber stamps officially began. Initially, lead pencil stains were removed using rubber. Unfortunately, the rubber was useless since it turned into jelly as the temperature increased. When he accidentally spilled a combination of sulphur and gum rubber over a hot fire in 1839, Charles Goodyear somewhat by mistake solved this problem by curing the rubber. In 1844, Goodyear gave this vulcanization technique its name and obtained a patent for it. However, items used as marking tools throughout the 1800s were created from several non-rubber materials. In truth, mechanised hand stamps (made of metal) were widely used up until the 1860s. Rubber stamps soon achieved economic viability and were largely marketed to enterprises for pricing and date. In reality, a historic price stamp from around 1886 is among the earliest self-inking stamps still in use.

Modern Day Stamps

As of today, there are a multitude of stamps available, from electronic stamps to numbering band stamps and many more! This indeed gives you a lot of options to choose from, based on your specific needs, such as for manufacture, shipment, corporate purposes, etc. moreover, now you also have the option to have your own customised stamps as well.

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