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History in Stampmaking

Carolyn “Natural Rubber Gums” doesn’t have to do with dental work. Instead, it’s the essential product for making rubber stamps.

Pilot Products, a company based in Long Island City, New York, has been offering customers Natural Rubber Gums for years and intends to continue to do so for many more years to come.
This stamp-manufacturing business began in 1947. Its original focus was making phonograph records before they were made of vinyl. Many of us may remember vinyl records, but pre-vinyl—that’s quite a while ago.

Thanks to Carolyn J. Hebel, the current president and CEO of Pilot Products, we have a window into the history of their stampmaking focus. An article she wrote for Marking Industry Magazine explains that when the company needed to adapt, they realized the record-making machinery was easily adapted to stampmaking.

Carolyn went on to explain how the company’s name came about. Pilot Products is a reference to World War II, when scrap rubber was saved and donated to the war effort.

“Model airplanes were made out of hard rubber . . . these were used to train ground forces and American civilians for spotting enemy airplanes. They were also used by the Armed Forces to plot strategic war maneuvers.” In recognition of this effort, an airplane appears on the company’s logo.

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