The remote ancestry of the rubber stamp reaches back across the ages to the wall of a cave on which some Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon burned or scratched a mark of ownership. The symbol of a person or a tribe was, as time and tools progressed, carved on a tree or etched on a stone. When Rome ruled the world, the seal and the signet ring came into regular use and were bequeathed to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Emperors, Queens, Generals, and the like were much involved in the timeconsuming business of Conquering and Holding leaving them precious little time for Reading or Writing. Reading for pleasure seemed redundant, what with the proliferation of bards and minstrels who could tell a tall tale and set it to music while the audience gnawed on a haunch of mutton. Amid all the conquering, holding and gnawing, (not to mention begetting), the Powers That Were often did not learn to read or write very well. For that, one had one's scribe.

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