Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]  

Early Office Museum

Antique Date, Cancelling, Time, Number & Name Stamps

Model, Year Patented or Advertised, Maker

Click Image to Enlarge
Hand Stamps & Ink Pads .
Ruggles' Patent Hand Stamp
Patented 1855 ~ Advertised 1854-60
Boston Hand Stamp Co., Boston, MA
Patent No. 13,470
The die is metal, not rubber.
1854_Ruggles_Patent_Hand_Stamp_Boston_Hand_Stamp_Co_Boston.jpg (77127 bytes)
Hand Stamp
Wells Fargo Agency, Grass Valley, Nevada Co.
Wells Fargo Museum, San Francisco, CA
Handstamp_w_Changeable_Date_Wells_Fargo_agency_Grass_Valley_Nevada_Co.jpg (137816 bytes)

Rubber Hand Stamps
The available evidence suggests that rubber hand stamps were invented around 1864-66.  "The years from 1866 onward were peppered with the establishment of new [rubber] stamp companies.  J. F. W. Dorman is said to have been the first to actually commercialize the making of rubber stamps.  In 1866 Dorman learned the technique of manufacturing rubber stamps."  (J. K. Miller & L. Thompson, The Rubber Stamp Album, 1978)  The New York Rubber Stamp Co. is listed in an 1870 New York City business directory.  A number of companies exhibited rubber hand stamps at the 1876 International Exhibition in Philadelphia.  These firms included G. K. Cooke & Co., New York, NY; Walker, Tucker & Co., Philadelphia; John Goldsborough, Philadelphia; and D. A. Edsall, New York, NY.

.1889_Revolving_Stamp_Rack.jpg (79770 bytes)
Revolving Rubber Stamp Rack, 1889 ad
Excelsior Rubber Stamp Pad (top right)
 Advertised 1886-87
B. G.. Volger & Co. (1886-87), W. B. Volger (1887), New York, NY
Price $0.50
1887_Excelsior_Rubber_Stamp_Pad_W_G_Volger_NYC.jpg (60153 bytes)
1887 Ad
Laughton Color Pad (bottom right)
Patented 1886-90 ~ Advertised 1900
F. S. Webster Co.
Boston, MA (1900)
Pat. No. 351,928 (1886)
1886_1890_Laughton_Color_Pad_Ink_OM.jpg (82639 bytes)
Self-Inking Rubber Stamp
Advertised 1887-89
B. P. Webler
New York, NY
Insert image from Office 1/89
Mechanical Hand Stamps ~ These Stamps Have Their Own Ink Pads or Ribbons
These stamps were used for dating, cancelling, and other purposes.
Ames' Patent Self-Inking Stamp
Patented 1856 ~ Advertised 1860
M. B. Bigelow & Anson Hardy
Boston, MA
Pat. No. 14,548 (1856)
When the plunger is pushed down, the ink roller rubs across the die before the die hits the paper.
1860_Bigelow__Hardy_Ames_patent_self-inking_stamp_Boston.jpg (39540 bytes)
No. 1 Canceller
Advertised 1870
Power & Wallwork
New York, NY
The 1870 advertisement states: "This was the first ribbon canceller ever made, and immense numbers were sold and used with great satisfaction until they were supplanted by late improvements.  We have a small stock on hand which we propose to sell at greatly reduced prices." Power & Wallwork, Illustrated Catalogue and Price List, New York, NY, 1870, contains illustrated advertisements for a wide range of dating and canceling stamps similar to the next three below. (Hagley Museum and Library)
Image coming H
Brass Dating Stamp
Patented 1865 ~ Sold 1866 ~ Advertised 1870
W. W. Secombe & Co.
New York, NY
This machine, which was patented in 1865, was owned by Joseph Fuller of Sufield, Connecticut, and his name and city surround the date. 
The device has four brass wheels, one for the month, two for the day of the month, and one for the year. The year wheel is for 1866-1875.
1865 Date Stamp OMc.jpg (12494 bytes)
Hudson's Ribbon Hand Stamp (two models)
Patented 1865
Thomas S. Hudson
East Cambridge, MA

This is described in U.S. Patent No. 48,338 and No. 51,053 as a Machine for Canceling Revenue Stamps.
It was designed to stamp a few words, such as a person's name and address, and the month, day, and year. 
The machine in the lower photo stamps "G.G. HICKS, AGT., PROV., R.I.." as well as the date.
Numbers (1 to 31) for the day are on an endless chain inside the vertical plunger.  
The operator changed the month and year dies manually. The machine in the lower photo has a die for the year 1887.

1865_Hudsons_Hand_Stamp_for_Cancelling_Revenue_Stamps.jpg (55485 bytes)
Date_stamp_die_GG_Hicks_Agt_Prov_RI_1887.JPG (56306 bytes)
Bank Stamp
Introduced 1865 ~ Advertised 1867
Chas. E. Maas & Co. (manufacturer) (Maas was an engraver)
D. M. & J. Townsend (agent)
Philadelphia, PA
"Six stamps under one frame and plunger."
1867_Bank_Stamp_D_M__J_Townsend_Phila_PA_OM.jpg (31193 bytes)
Holt's Circular Bank Stamp
Sold by 1867 ~
Advertised 1870
Power & Wallwork
New York, NY
"This is the largest and most comprehensive ribbon stamping machine ever made. It carries twelve large dies. It has a separate ribbon for each die, giving such a variety of colors as may be desired." The machine was $100. One was used by the Bank of America during 1867-70.
Image to be added H
Self-Dating and Indicating Cancelling Stamp
Patented 1867 ~ Advertised 1867
Nathaniel L. Chamberlain
Boston, MA
The 1867 billhead below is in the Warshaw Collection, National Museum of
American History Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
1867_NL_Chamberlain_Cancelling_Stamp_billhead_OM.jpg (57524 bytes)
Similar if not identical stamps were advertised c. 1867 by E. D. Chamberlain, New York, NY, and in 1868 by D. M. & J. Townsend, Philadelphia, PA.
These stamps were $12.
1868_Chamberlain_Date_Stamp_OM.JPG (18012 bytes)
Counting House Stamp
Advertised 1867
Nathaniel L. Chamberlain
Boston, MA
1867_Counting_House_Stamp_N_L_Chamberlain_Boston_A_OM.jpg (26091 bytes)
Date Stamp
Patented 1868 ~ Sold 1868
Nathaniel L. Chamberlain
Boston, MA
U.S. Patent No. 83,253
This machine has three brass wheels, one for the month, one for the day, and one for the year.
The year wheel is for 1868-1875.
1868 Nathaniel L Chamberlain Boston MA date stamp front.JPG (17123 bytes)
 Ribbon Hand Stamp
Advertised 1869
W. H. H. Davis
Boston, MA
1869_Ribbon_Hand_Stamp_W_H_H_Davis_Boston.jpg (61805 bytes)
Smith's Patent Ribbon Hand Stamp
John Garrett & Co.
New York, NY
A circular portion of the base could be removed so that the machine could stamp through to a page in a book,
rather than being used as an ordinary stamp.
There is a record that in 1870 John Garrett & Co. sold a brass dating stamp to the New York State Agricultural Society for $12.
Smiths_Patent_Ribbon_Hand_Stamp_John_Garrett__Co_NY_NY_OM.jpg (36126 bytes)
American Dating Stamp
Patented 1871-76 ~ Advertised 1877-1922
B. B. Hill Manufacturing Co. (The proprietor's name was Benjamin B. Hill)
Springfield, MA (until 1882)
Philadelphia, PA (1882 onward)
The 1871 patent is U.S. Patent No. 121,286.
The illustration on an 1877 billhead has a brass dating wheel that begins with 1871.

1885_B_B_Hill_Award_front_Russ_Sears_OM.jpg (112335 bytes)  1885_B_B_Hill_Award_back_side_Russ_Sears_OM.jpg (221018 bytes)
The Medal of Superiority awarded to the B. B. Hill Mfg Co. for Dating, Cancelling, Numbering 
& Perforating Stamps, Seal Presses & Self-Inkers, American Institute, NY, 1885.  
Photos courtesy of Russ Sears.

1871-76 American Dater Side OMS.jpg (18874 bytes)
Patent Self-Inking Rotary Stamp
Exhibited 1876
G. K. Cooke & Co.
New York, NY
Illustration in Publishers' Weekly, Vol X, 1876, p. 107.
Hill Centennial Dater
Patented 1876-1879 ~ Advertised c.1906, 1910
B. B. Hill Manufacturing Co.
Springfield, MA (until 1882)
Philadelphia, PA (1882 onward)
The similar Cosmo Ribbon Dater was advertised in 1936 for use by railroads to date tickets.
1876_1879_Centennial_Dater_B_B_Hill.jpg (26042 bytes)
Railroad Dater
Advertised c. 1906
Image coming
Corlies, Macy & Co, p. 88
Mechanical Time-Dating Stamps ~ These Stamps Contained Clocks .
Automatic Time-Dating Stamp
Advertised 1890-93
Accurate Time Stamp Co.
New York, NY

Similar machines were marketed by various companies until at least 1936.
International Time Recording, New York, NY, advertised the Standard Time Stamp in 1900.
Follett Time Recording Co., NY, NY, advertised Follett's New Model Time Stamp in 1913. (System, Oct. 1913).
The Ajax Time Stamp Co., Boston, MA, advertised the Ajax Time Stamp during 1928-36.
Photograph lower right shows a National Time Recorder, made by the National Time Recorder Co., London, UK


1890_Automatic_Time-Dating_Stamp_Accurate_Time_Stamp_Co._NY_NY.jpg (25701 bytes)
Automatic Time-Dating Stamp, 1890
Replace preceding image with two from Office 4/90
National_Time_Recorder_Co_Ltd_London_England_1.jpg (49251 bytes)
National Time Recorder
National Time and Dating Stamp
Advertised 1892
National Stamp Co.
Newark, NJ
1892 National Time and Dating Stamp National Stamp Co Newark NJ specimen OM.jpg (22099 bytes)
1892_National_Time_and_Dating_Stamp_National_Stamp_Co_Newark_NJ_OM.jpg (147166 bytes)
National Time and Dating Stamp, 1892 ad
Automatic Time Stamp
Patented 1894-97 ~ Advertised 1890-1923
The Automatic Time Stamp Co.
Boston, MA

Insert image from Office 2/90

The Thompson Time Stamp Co., New York, NY, advertised the similar Thompson Time Stamp Model B in 1928.

Automatic_Time_Stamp_2.JPG (23068 bytes)
American_Dater.jpg (32633 bytes)
Baird Chronograph and Baird Time Stamp
Advertised 1898 (Chronograph), 1902-05 (Time Stamp)
Baird Clock Co. (1898)
Baird Manufacturing Co.(1902-05),
Chicago, IL
1898 Baird Chronograph Time Stamp advert OM.jpg (82187 bytes)
Baird Chronograph, 1898 ad
1905_Baird_time_stamp.jpg (82187 bytes)
Baird Time Stamp, 1905 ad
Hoggson Time Stamps
Advertised 1902
S. H. Hoggson & Co.
New York, NY
Joslin's Eclipse Time Stamp was advertised in 1928 (Horder's), and the Eclipse Automatic Time Stamp and the Cosmo Automatic Time Stamp were advertised in 1936.
Insert image from System 1902
Perry Time Stamp
Advertised 1905-06
Perry Time Stamp Co.
Chicago, IL

1906_Perry_Time_Stamp_stamp_example_OM.jpg (67328 bytes)
1906_Perry_Time_Stamp_OM.jpg (119106 bytes)
1906 ad
Electric Time Stamp
Advertised 1906
American Clock Co.
Chicago, IL
1906_Electric_Time_Stamp_American_Clock_Co_Chicago_IL_OM.jpg (224879 bytes)
1906 ad
IBM International Electroprint Time Stamp
Late 1930s
International Business Machines
New York, NY
IBM_International_Electroprint_Time_Stamp.jpg (152786 bytes)
Numbering Stamps .
Holt's Consecutive Numbering Machine
Advertised 1870
Power & Wallwork
New York, NY
Image coming H
French Consecutive Numbering Stamp
Advertised 1870
Power & Wallwork
New York, NY
Image coming H
Numbering Machine
Advertised 1889
C. H. Hanson
Chicago, IL
Image coming from Office 4/89
Bates Automatic Numbering Machines
Patented 1891-93 ~ Advertised 1892-present
Bates Mfg. Co.
Orange, NJ

These are self-inking.
Bates produced many models, and Bates numbering stamps are still produced.

For a history of the use of Bates stamps by the legal profession and technologies that have largely replaced them, see Ralph Losey, "HASH: The New Bates Stamp," 12 Journal of Technology Law & Policy 1, June 2007; Tom O'Connor, The Days of the Bates Stamp are Numbered, 2008; and Ralph Losey, The Days of the Bates Stamp are Numbered, 2008. The latter reproduces the image top right.
Bates_Automatic_Numbering_Machine_ad_c._1897.jpg (23887 bytes) MBHT_Bates_Numbering_Model_49A.jpg (84659 bytes)MBHT_Bates_Numbering_Model_B.jpg (81557 bytes)
Excelsior Numbering Machine Excelsior_numbering_machine.JPG (16474 bytes)
Name Stamps .
Hand Stamp/Card Printer/Linen Marker
Patented 1871 ~ Exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.
William Thompson Frohock, Philadelphia, PA.
Design Pat. No.  4,808

This device stamps a name using printer's type.
A competing device, Gorham's Card and Linen Marker, was based on Design Patent No. 5,364 (1871).  This device was advertised in 1873.
1871_Name_Stamp_Ralph_D_Wheeler_OM.jpg (13271 bytes)

Back to Top of this Page


2000-2016.  All material on the Early Office Museum web site is copyrighted.  All rights are reserved.

First, you must not plagiarize our material.  Plagiarism is the act of passing off as your own the words, photographs, or other work of someone else.  That is, not giving appropriate credit.  Second, you must not violate our copyright, which means you may not use any images or text from the Early Office Museum web site in publications, in direct mailing material, on web sites, in auction listings, or anywhere else without written permission from the Curator.  In some cases, images belong to someone else, and we cannot give permission.  If you make a non-infringing use of information from this web site, please cite the Early Office Museum and provide a link or our web address (
or  If you believe that we have not given appropriate credit for your work or have violated your copyright, please email the curator so we can resolve the matter.