The ink used on vulcanized rubber stamps should be such that when applied to a suitable pad it remains sufficiently fluid to adhere to the stamp. At the same time the fluidity should cease by the time the stamp is pressed upon an absorbing surface such as paper. Formerly these inks were made by rubbing up pigments in fat to a paste. Such inks can hardly be prevented, however, from making impressions surrounded by a greasy mark caused by the fat spreading in the pores of the paper. Now, most stamping inks are made without grease and a properly prepared stamping ink contains nothing but glycerine and coal-tar dye. As nearly all these dyes dissolve in hot glycerine the process of manufacture is simple enough. The dye, fuchsine, methyl violet, water blue, emerald green, etc., is put into a thin porcelain dish over which concentrated glycerine is poured, and the whole is heated to nearly 212° F. with constant stirring. It is important to use no more glycerine than is necessary to keep the dye dissolved when the ink is cold. If the mass turns gritty on cooling it must be heated up with more glycerine till solution is perfect.

In dealing with coal-tar dyes insoluble in glycerine, or nearly so, dissolve them first in the least possible quantity of strong, hot alcohol. Then add the glycerine and heat till the spirit is evaporated.

To see whether the ink is properly made spread some of it on a strip of cloth and try it with a rubber stamp. On paper, the separate letters must be quite sharp and distinct. If they run at the edges there is too much glycerine in the ink and more dye must be added to it. If, on the contrary, the impression is indistinct and weak, the ink is too thick and must be diluted by carefully adding glycerine.

Aniline colors are usually employed as the tinting agents. The following is a typical formula, the product being a black ink:


Nigrosin............ 3 parts

Water.............. 15 parts

Alcohol............ 15 parts

Glycerine........... 70 parts

Dissolve the nigrosin in the alcohol, add the glycerine previously mixed with the water, and rub well together.

Nigrosin is a term applied to several compounds of the same series which differ in solubility. In the place of' these compounds it is probable that a mixture would answer to produce black as suggested by Hans Wilder for making writing ink. His formula for the mixture is:


Methyl violet........ 3 parts

Bengal green........ 5 parts

Bismarck green..... 4 parts

A quantity of this mixture should be taken equivalent to the amount of nigrosin directed. These colors are freely soluble in water, and yield a deep greenish-black solution.

The aniline compound known as brilliant green answers in place of Bengal green. As to the permanency of color of this or any aniline ink, no guarantee is offered. There are comparatively few coloring substances that can be considered permanent even in a qualified sense. Among these, charcoal takes a foremost place. Lampblack remains indefinitely unaltered. This, ground very finely with glycerine, would yield an ink which would perhaps prove serviceable in stamping; but it would be liable to rub off to a greater extent than soluble colors which penetrate the paper more or less. Perhaps castor oil would prove a better vehicle for insoluble coloring- matters. Almost any aniline color may be substituted for nigrosin in the foregoing formula, and blue, green, red, purple, and other inks obtained. Insoluble pigments might also be made to answer as suggested for lampblack.

The following is said to be a cushion that will give color permanently. It consists of a box filled with an elastic composition, saturated with a suitable color. The cushion fulfils its purpose for years without being renewed, always contains sufficient moisture, which is drawn from the atmosphere, and continues to act as a color stamp cushion so long as a remnant of the mass or composition remains in the box or receptacle. This cushion or pad is too soft to be self-supporting, but should be held in a low, flat pan, and have a permanent cloth cover.


The composition consists preferably of 1 part gelatin, 1 part water, 6 parts glycerine, and 6 parts coloring matter. A suitable black color can be made from the following materials: One part gelatin glue, 3 parts lampblack, aniline black, or a suitable quantity of logwood extract, 10 parts of glycerine, 1 part absolute alcohol, 2 parts water,

1   part Venetian soap, 1/5 part salicylic acid. For red, blue, or violet: One part gelatin glue, 2 parts aniline of desired color, 1 part absolute alcohol, 10 parts glycerine, 1 part Venetian soap, and 1/5 part salicylic acid.

The following are additional recipes used for this purpose:


Mix and dissolve 2 to 4 drachms aniline violet, 15 ounces alcohol, 15 ounces glycerine. The solution is poured on the cushion and rubbed in with a brush. The general method of preparing the pad is to swell the gelatin with cold water, then boil and add the glycerine, etc.


Mix well 16 pounds of hot linseed oil, 3 ounces of powdered indigo, or a like quantity of Berlin blue, and 8 pounds of lampblack. For ordinary sign-stamping an ink without the indigo might be used. By substituting ultramarine or Prussian blue for the lampblack, a blue "ink" or paint would result.