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The history of labels

The History of Self-Adhesive Labels


Colorful paper labels have been used to identify products since the early 1880s.


Introduced to America by European artists, this profession became known as lithography: the first commercial art. The goal was easy- the entrepeneur wishes to catch the customer's eye. When manufacturing the first labels, a gum was used to stick the label to the surface. As the fruit market grew larger in popularity each season, immense competition at the local markets erupted. Sellers needed a new way to get ahead of their competators. The answer? You guessed it: using labels! Orchard owners discovered that this new concept of lithography was successful in bringing marketable attention to their fruit. Labels were used on cedar crates full of fruit, cans of vegetables, and boxes of cigars.


Today, some of these labels are collectible and can be found and bought at antique stores.


The Very First Labels 


In the early 1930s, an entrepreneur named R. Stanton Avery manufactured the world's first self-adhesive labels. Their business was a success. This label came with a paper surface and a coat of adhesive. The manufactures would then stick a liner onto the adhesive. This liner had a special silicone coating. The term "pressure sensitive" became the industry name for this type of technique. Pressure sensitive labels are an integral part of our lifestyle today. 


The Inkjet Printer Changes Everything 


The invention of the inkjet printer in the early 80s changed the future of labeling. As the inkjet printer began to commercialize, people started to print their own labels. A4 size sheets became the standard size for manufacturing labels for inkjet printers. As the prices of inkjet printers and ink went down, the sales of inkjet labels exploded for home and business use. You did not have to rely any longer on the typical label printer and pay the high costs.


Technology Helps Make Printing Labels Easier 


Computers became more and more popular and were soon found in every business and household!! Microsoft Windows included label templates in their Word program. Millions and millions of people could now print there own labels both at work or at home.

Then- in the historic year of 1969- Gary Starkweather, at Xerox's research facility in Webster, New York, demonstrated how using a laser beam with the xerography process can create a laser printer. In 1984 Hewlett-Packard introduced a new kind of printing method: the very first LaserJet laser printer, featuring 300dpi resolution, for $3,600 US dollars.


Consumer Printing Becomes Affordable  


Very quickly after that, the prices of laser printers dropped rapidly and- soon afterwards- almost every business had acquired one. In the early 1990s prices of laser printers were so low the consumers started buying their own! The convenience of printing your own labels became popular. Many kinds of label software programs were introduced. The introduction of the easy-to-use laser printer only helped matters and the popularity of laser printing with labels grew. 

Have an inkjet or laser printer at home? Now you can print all of your labels with ease- both with higher clarity and increasing speed- saving money and time, as you print directly from work or at home! 


History of Worldlabel


Worldlabel.com came along in 1993. With its extensive resources for the development of professional looking and adhesive labels- with manufacturers found in North America- the labeling process is only getting easier and easier....no matter how many labels you could possibly need!


Buying Online with Worldlabel Saves You Time and Money


Purchasing labels online, direct from the manufacturer, helps to bring all of your label printing costs down to lower and lower prices! Worldlabel continues to be innovative with new labeling products. We hope to supply you with blank labels for laser and inkjet printing. And the label material you bought from us, designed with our Worldlabel label design software, printed on your own printer, has the potential to become a very valuable collectible label one day.