Who would have thought that your scrapbooking and card
making had a connection to the Maya Indians? Rubber
Stamping is certainly one of the fastest growing hobbies
today, and for good reason. With its inexpensive
materials and creative versatility, rubber stamping
provides millions with hours of fun and creativity. How
did it all start?
• Spanish explorers were the first to talk about a
"sticky substance" that bounced, used by South American
Indians. Though it didn't revolutionalize the world at
that time, these same Indians were using a primitive
form of rubber stamping to "mark and tattoo" images on
men and women.
• In 1736, Charles Marie de la Condamine, a French
scientist studying the Amazon, sent a piece of "India
Rubber" back to France.
• Rubber got its name in 1770, when the scientist Sir
Joseph Priestly made a comment about a substance
"excellently adapted to the purpose of wiping from paper
the mark of black lead pencil." Hence the "rubbing out"
of pencil marks gave it the term "rubber". Up until this
time, people wishing to erase pencil marks had to use
• Rubber Stamping owes much gratitude to a hardware
store owner who decided to quit his job to solve the
"sticky problem" he had heard about. Though his
persistence was tested time and again, even filing
bankruptcy and going to jail for failure to pay debts,
Charles Goodyear eventually discovered that heat was the
secret to rubber's "curing".
• As early as 1866, a man carved information in a flat
piece of rubber and mounted it to a curved block of
wood. This 4"x 6" mounted rubber stamp was being used to
print information on bath tubs.
• Early rubber stamps consisted mainly of words and
phrases used to mark packages and manufactured products.
Stamping suppliers began to spring up in Ohio and the
• Rubber stamping as a hobby took off in the early
1970's with companies such as All Night Media (1974) and
Hero Arts (1974). Soon the craze had caught and many
other companies decided to cash in on a hobby that would
last for decades.
• It wasn't until a boom in the 1990's that rubber
stamping became so popular with millions of crafter's
worldwide. As thousands of companies begin to produce
rubber stamps, the availability and unique designs
became common everywhere!
It's no wonder why rubber stamping has turned into a
worldwide crafting phenomenon. Women and men alike have
found hundreds of creative uses for rubber stamps, from
scrapbooking and cardmaking, to gift bags and 3D
artwork. Give it a try, you'll see!