Tacoma Rubber Stamp Co. (TRS) was started in 1912 by the Garrison Family. Their main product lines were rubber stamps, engraved nameplates, dating machines and hand-stamped dies for seals. The rubber dies were formed from hand set wood type and clay molds. Logos and custom designs were hand cut or chiseled out of wood.
During the next few decades, the product lines expanded to include stamped tags for utility poles, police and fire badges and rubber dies for marking lumber and plywood. During World War II, the port of Tacoma was producing a battleship every month, and TRS had six pantograph machines operating around the clock, engraving identification plates for them.
In 1960, Joseph R. Lovely purchased TRS from Ed Garrison. At that time, Mr. Lovely owned the Liberal Engraving Company which manufactured etched metal cuts for the printing and newspaper industries. As more printers converted to offset printing, the need for metal cuts dwindled. Joe was not ready for retirement and saw an opportunity to combine his metal cuts with TRS's rubber molding equipment and enter the corrugated box die market. TRS already made deep-mold velcro-backed dies for marking lumber and plywood, so it wasn't much of a leap to begin manufacturing box dies.
This new venture required major purchases of Ludlow lead typesetting equipment, hundreds of deep mold brass molds and additional vulcanizers. Personnel had to be trained in layout, typesetting and hand cutting rubber masters for logos. More customers care was required, and sometimes a salesman might call on seven or more accounts daily from Olympia to Seattle. At that time, TRS's offices were located in downtown Tacoma at 915 Commerce. The factory was located on South Tacoma Way near Bob's Java Jive, on land that was scheduled for demolition by the highway department, who planned to build a viaduct. Joe went searching for a new location and found the Tacoma Times building at 919 Market Street. The building was approximately 35,000 square feet, earthquake-proof and strong enough to handle the heavy vulcanizers and punch presses. So he combined the offices and the factory of Liberal Engraving and Tacoma Rubber Stamp into one location.
In 1978 Advance Rubber Stamp opened in Seattle at the Joseph Vance building on 3rd and Union. One person managed the office and Tim Lovely was salesman, delivery person and manager. As business grew, Tim hired 5 sales people and move the company to 5th and Bell. The combination of the new location and additional sales people resulted in a huge growth of 150% in a year. In 1981 the company name was changed to Advance Marking Systems and the company moved to 5th and Cedar at Chief Seattle Square. The product lines continued to be strong in stamps, daters, seals, nameplates, signs, etc. AMS expanded into the specialty advertising market which offered additional products to customers with the marking products and awards lines.
Advance Marking Systems is currently located in the Georgetown area of Seattle and is managed by Jeff Lovely. Tim Lovely runs the Tacoma Rubber Stamp branch where we have all of our production, bookkeeping and main support for the branch offices. The company has three locations:
Tacoma Rubber Stamp & Sign Co.
919 Market Street
Tacoma, Washington 98402
253-383-5433 - FAX 206-383-0649
E mail: customerservice@TacomaRubberStamp.com
Advance Marking & Signs
5950 6th Ave. S. Suite #202
Seattle, Washington 98108
206-728-8888 - FAX 206-626-6455
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tacoma Rubber Stamp Oregon
8885 SW Canyon Road Suite # 120
Portland, Oregon 97255
503-891-5086 - FAX 503-645-4644
E Mail: Trent