To day we take self inking stamps for granted but it was only after the Second World War that the first self inking stamps showed up on the world market. We have to remember that plastic, which we all take so much for granted these days, was not known before this time.
To day there is plastic in millions of products… but the first self inking stamps were made of steel and not plastic.
It was a Danish company called Alpo that was one of the first ones to produce self inking stamps from steel – but it was a Greek and not a Dane who founded Alpo. His name was Lacopolous and the four letters in Alpo is taken from his own name. He had come to Denmark as an immigrant from Greece just after the war and he was a skilled tool maker.
He got the idea to produce self inking stamps made of steel. The first ones produced were very heavy and not easy to use but they had the great advantage of having an ink pad integrated in the steel body so after each stamping made the die was automatically re-inked.
The Alpo steel made self inking stamps were not an immediate success because they were much more expensive than the traditional rubber stamps with a separate ink pad but as time went by the convenience of using self inking stamps and the good impression quality they produced became more and more important and the market for self inking steel stamps grew – but what finally made the self inking stamps a world wide success were plastic made self inking stamps.
It was in the beginning of the 1970s that the plastic self inking stamps first came to market.
One of the most successful plastic self inking stamps ever produced is the Trodat Printy line and since then the Printy line of self inking stamps have been continuously developed to the modern design they have to day and it has even gone to the extent that now they produce CO2 neutral self inking stamps. The basic idea on producing CO2 neutral self inking stamp – also referred to as offsetting – is to compensate for the emission of a specific quantity of greenhouse gas that cannot be avoided with climate protection measures at another location. A lot of research has been done to able to have a production set up that makes this possible but it has now been achieved.
These days a lot of science and research has been invested to produce the modern plastic self inking stamps. It was Goodyear who invented the traditional rubber stamps with a separate ink pad in the 1870s and if today he is able to look down on earth from his spot in heaven he would without any doubt be very impressed by the modern technology used to produce self inking stamps.