Vandercook Time Line   1935–1953

 
   
   
   
 
   
 
 
 
 
                 

 
1935    #6180 and #02958
 
Vandercook No. 4 Proving Machine 11/14/35 #6360 - 4/21/60 #20,624

No. 4 1935From 1935 ATF catalog
Maximum sheet: 15" × 20"
Maximum form: 14" × 18"
Floor space: 2' × 5'
Shipping weight: 1250 lb (net 1050 lb)

“Register is absolute...offer[ing] the practical solution to many wet color proving problems.”

Powered inking, changeable inking units, gooseneck feed board light. Optional frisket frame and register plate base.

4 split 1935
From Vandercook
Form No. 9822, post-1938
Bed size: 15" × 35"
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 20"
Maximum form: 14" × 18"
Floor space: 2'2" × 6'6"
Shipping weight: 1250 lb (net 1050 lb)
Price (1950): $1580

“Precision previously found only in presses much higher in price.”

The press pictured here differs from the 1935 model in the addition of a travelling delivery tray at one end and an unidentified compartment at the other. The new model also has the gripper pedal.

Bill Litfin reports on his 4:

It has a cool split fountain roller setup [shown here] that allows two colors to be on press at once. Presumably one could either print one job ‘work and turn’ or two jobs at once!

One page of the brochure touts this option for laboratory work; for example, testing two inks with the same impression and speed.

 

Vandercook No. 4 Proof Press
From 1950 Vandercook and 1953 WNU catalogs

4 1950Bed: 15" × 35"
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 20"
Maximum form: 14" × 18"
Floor space: 2'2" × 6'6"
Weight: 1100 lb
Price (1955): $1965

For reproduction and test proofs. Power ink distribution, type high bed, travelling sheet delivery tray. Optional split vibrator and riders.

 

 

Vandercook 4 Hand Proof Press From 1957 Vandercook catalog
“Over 5000 in use today ... Now also suitable for producing fine transparent proofs by equipping it with the transparency feeding equipment.” Evidently the 4T was folded into this model.

Briar Press | Museum
Casey McGarr's shiny 4

 

 
1936    #6491 and #03359. RIP 315, 17, 427, 222.
 
Vandercook 427 Four-Color Proving Macine 1/2/36 #6320 - 3/30/36 #6555
Price (1935): $10,000
(at the time of Form 9822, post-1938): $12,000.

427

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

427 profile

 

 

 
Vandercook 317 Power Proof Press 1/30/36 #6520 - 1/26/42 #8670

317PFrom ad in American Printer, April 1937

“Profit for short runs ... one or more colors ... 1500 iph ... quality equals that of the finest cylinder press ... washup is quick and easy ... delivery is semi-automatic.”

See also 317 Hand

 

 
Vandercook 325G Hand Proof Press
4/9/36 #6640 - 10/29/62 #22,090
Larger version of the 320G. Possibly a “proof” (rather than a “test”) version of the 25-24. See also 325G Power, 325A Hand.

325GHFrom 1935 ATF catalog
Maximum sheet: 25" × 30" Maximum form: 24" × 24½" Floor space: 3'5" × 7'9" (9'8" long w/auto delivery) Shipping weight: 2300 lb (auto delivery 150 lb, ink fountain 125 lb).


From 1950 and 1957 Vandercook and 1953 WNU catalogs
Bed: 25" × 46¼"
Maximum sheet: 24¾" × 27"
Maximum form: 24" × 24½
Floor space: 3'4" × 7'9" (2' longer w/auto delivery)
Weight: 2000 lb (1957: 2200 lb)
Price (1950): $2140

 

 
Vandercook 317 Hand Proof Press 5/13/36 #6696 - 12/6/48 #12,919
See also 317 Power

317 BP ad
The British Printer
July 1938, p 54.
317 CP ad

The Canadian Printer and Publisher
February 1938, p 14.


317From c. 1937 Vandercook catalog and 1938 ad
Maximum sheet: 17" × 27"
Maximum form: 16" × 24½"
Floor space: 2'8" × 6'4" (including feed table overhang; 1'10" longer with ink cabinet)
Shipping weight: 1700 lb (ink cabinet and fountain: 150 lb)

15-25 proofs/min. Automatic inking, w/optional fountain and ink cabinet. Semi-automatic delivery. Double automatic cylinder trip, for short or long sheets. Automatic grippers (no foot pedal). Galley height.

 

 

317 Bed: 17" × 45"
Maximum sheet: 16¾" × 27"
Maximum form: 16" × 24½"
Shipping weight: 1700 lb
Price (1940): $675
($743 delivered to the West Coast)

 

 

An odd duck. The feed table/delivery tray (which travels with the cylinder) is in the shape of an upside-down V. The sheet is gripped just before reaching the right end — then moving the cylinder back to the left makes the impression. There is a stock table above the cylinder. "Feed and Delivery Table arranged for minimum hand travel in making proofs;" however, the design wasn't used in subsequent models.

Walker Rumble contributes the following information about this elusive press:

I've had my 317 for something like ten years. All that I've ever known about the press is the info contained on Sheet No. 4-B of the Vandercook Illustrated Price List dated May 1 1940. Unhappily, I now find that my photocopy of that information has faded badly and resembles the Dead Sea Scrolls. According to Vandercook, the 317 was designed for "production of fine printing on short runs." It was recommended for "general proving where customers require ten or more proofs," for "imprinting calendars or other jobs where form changes are frequent," and for "printing sales portfolios, announcements, display bills, posters, show cards and programs." Vandercook claimed that the 317 "will print from 15 to 25 excellent proofs a minute. It brings an added selling argument to many plants-making it possible to print short runs profitably." According to the fellow I bought mine from, River Street Printing in Woonsocket, he bought the press from Plimpton Press in Norwood, Mass., and he told me that Plimpton had used the press to proof covers for Houghton Mifflin books. (Private email, 8/28/03)

More images

 

 
1937    #7047 and #03934. RIP 223 Hand, 040.

317 BP ad
Inland Printer
February 1938

Vanderson & Sons. Inc. buy the Hacker Manufacturing Company, which also made proof presses, block levelers and precision gauges. See also Hacker on Other Brands page.

 
No. 223 Family: 1937-1949  223  223P  232  232P

"No. 223 and No. 232 Vandercook Hand and Power Operated Proving Machines are precision constructed to the positive accuracy required by the photo-engraver for plate correction, or by the printer in the careful pre-makeready of plates or forms." (c.1937 Vandercook catalog).

The family includes the four combinations of hand or powered cylinder, and a 22½" or 31½" maximum form width. All have a powered ink drum. Options include fountain, automatic frisket and delivery, and a "color-corrected feed-board light."

These seem to be the only presses introduced in 1937, the year Vandercook bought Hacker. Could these presses be Hacker in origin?

The 232P was replaced by 32-28E in 1949.

 

 
Vandercook No. 223 Hand Proving Machine 2/6/37 #7097 - 8/17/37 #7475
See No. 223 Family
From c. 1937 Vandercook catalog
Maximum sheet: 23½" × 30" Maximum form: 22½" × 28" Floor space: 3' × 10'6" Weight: 3000 lb.

 

 
Vandercook No. 223P Power Proving Machine 2/11/37 #6940 - 11/11/43 #9803
See No. 223 Family
From c. 1937 Vandercook catalog

Maximum sheet: 23½" × 30"
Maximum form: 22½" × 28"
Floor space: 3' × 10'6"
Net weight: 3500 lb

 

 

 

 

 

 
Vandercook No. 232 Hand Proving Machine Dates and serial numbers unknown
See No. 223 Family
From c. 1937 Vandercook catalog
Maximum sheet: 32½" × 30" Maximum form: 31½" × 28" Floor space: 3'9" × 10'6" Weight: 4300 lb.

 

 
Vandercook No. 232P Power Proving Machine 11/24/37 #7626 - 11/22/49 #13,876
See No. 223 Family
232PFrom c. 1937 Vandercook catalog
Maximum sheet: 32½" × 30" Maximum form: 31½" × 28" Floor space: 3'9" × 10'6" Weight: 5000 lb.

"Same as the 223 except that it will print a 9" wider plate."

From 1937 ad

 

 

 
1938    #7649 and #04526. RIP 20.
 
Vandercook 24 12/2/38 #7807 - 1/12/42 #9596

24

 

 
Vandercook 4T Proving Machine 2/3/38 #7643 - 5/8/57 #18,739
Same as the 4, but used to pull transparency proofs of type on transparent acetate or glassine. The proofs could then be contacted to film for offset negatives.


Hal Sterne's data gives 2/3/48 as the first manufacture date, but this doesn't match the first serial number. Possible that the first manufacture date was 1938 instead of 1948?

From Vandercook Form 9822, post-1938
Bed: 15" × 35" Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 18" Maximum form locked in chase: 11" × 16" Floor space: 2'2" × 6'6" Shipping weight: 1350 lb
"To meet the need for perfect accuracy in making transparent impressions." Includes "attachments for handling the cellophane, and a special ground cylinder (.070") to take the offset blanket." Standard equipment includes a package of cotton.

4TVandercook 4T Proof Press
From 1950 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 15" × 35"
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 20"
Maximum form: 14" × 18"
Floor space: 2'2" × 6'6"
Weight: 1100 lb
Price (1950): $1840

Browse The Excelsior Press Museum of Printing's pix of their #9942
See also 219T Old Style, 219T New Style, 219ABT

 

 

 
Vandercook School of Proving

vandy classFrom post-1938 Vandercook catalog (Form 91220)
"Mr. O.C. Geffken. Instructor at Vandercook School of Proving, demonstrating Vandercook Method for producing Transparent Impressions [on a No. 4T]....The employees of any Vandercook or Hacker equipped plant are eligible for instruction, without cost or obligation."<br clear="left"/>

 

 

 
1939    #8100 and #04930. RIP 25.
 
Vandercook 219T Old Style 2/15/39 #8170 - 12/3/54 #17,192
See also 219 Old Style, 219 New Style, 219T New Style, 219AB, 219ABT, 4T.

 

 
1940    #8613 and #05318

 
1941    #9110 and #05725

 
Vandercook 212 10/23/41 #9699 - 9/30/43 #9728

212

 

 
1942    #9700 and #06183. RIP 24, 317 Power, 32.
 
Vandercook 055 Dates and serial numbers unknown
Made for the government during WWII. 51" × 75."
See also 032

055

 

 
Vandercook 515 6/4/42 #9657 - 6/30/48 #11,031
Offset Proof Press Showing Damping Rollers

515

 

 
1943    #9765 (apparently no gravity presses were manufactured this year). RIP 23, 212, 223 Power.

Company Manufactures machine tools, 90 mm AA gun carriage parts, Norden bombsight parts, and radar assemblies from some time during 1943 to early in 1946.

 

 
1944    #9854 and #06322

WWII Production Service Award

WWII awardVandercook was awarded the Army-Navy Production Award "E" on July 27 1944 "for meritorious services on the production front." There was a big ceremony at the plant in Chicago afterwards (I don't have the date), and this picture is the only one I have seen so far that shows father and his sons. Vandercook's "wartime manufacture includes complete machine tools, Norden Bombsight parts and assemblies, Radar equipment and work ranging from heavy gun parts to the most delicate electrical precision instruments." This is from a small booklet printed for the occasion. [FK]

 

 

 

 
1945    #9893 and #06345

Vandercook Showroom

dearbornInterior view of 630 Dearborn St. [Transportation Building], Chicago. I would very much like to know what is now at this location, likewise for other former Vandercook sites. Vandercook enthusiasts in Chicagoland are encouraged to take photographs of these locations are posting to this website [PM]:
559-563 West Lake Street — Vandercook Press c.1905-09
120-130 Sherman Street — Vandercook Press c.1909
1716 West Austin Avenue — Main plant before 1928
900 North Kilpatrick Avenue — Main plant 1928-1954
3601 West Touhy Avenue (Lincolnwood) — Main plant 1954-1968
4701 West Iowa Street — Vandercook Research, Inc.( (across street from main plant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
1946    #9912 and #06351

 
1947    #10,333 and #06400. RIP 219 Old Style.

Seoptenber 7 Chicago Tribune article: "Maker of Proof Presses Taking Bids for Plant," states that Johnson & Johnson are the architects and projected the building to be completed in Fall 1948. The plant was actually completed in 1954.

 
Vandercook 604 High-Speed 4-Color Proof Press
7/9/47 #11,125 - 11/18/57 #13,941

604From 1950 and 1957 Vandercook catalogs

Bed: 27½" × 23½"
Maximum sheet: 26" × 24"
Maximum form: 25" × 21" (1957: 25" × 20½")
Floor space: 4' × 25'
Weight: about 10,000 lb (15,000 lb packed for export in three sections)
Price (1950) D.C. $23,800 A.C. $24,420. (1955): $23,650.

Originally designed for Curtis Publishing before WWII. Uses a 3 h.p. motor for moving eight form rollers over four forms. This produces a "wet" proof in three seconds — there is no drying time between colors. The optional chain-driven clothesline carries four friskets. Optional automatic sheet delivery (not pictured). 159 built, then replaced by 30-26.

 

 
1948    #12,146 and #06883. RIP 515, 317 Hand.
 
Vandercook 23SE 1/29/48 #11,785 - 12/14/62 #21,279

23 SE

 

 
Vandercook 219T New Style 4/3/48 #12,363 8/2/54 #17,033
See also 219 Old Style, 219T Old Style, 219 New Style, 219AB, 219ABT, 215

219 NS

 

 
Vandercook 32-28 Power Test Press
4/30/48 #12,665 - 4/30/53 #16,119

32-28From 1950 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 32½" × 50"
Maximum sheet: 32" × 30"
Maximum form: 31½" × 28"
Floor space: 4' × 9'
Weight: 4750 lb
Price (1950): $5845

Almost identical to the 32-28E, but with narrow margin grippers and left and right side guides, and without the makeready table. These may be a similar pair to the 25-24 and 325G Hand, where the former is the "test press" and the latter the "proof press." The 42-28 is the larger version.

 

From 1957 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 32¼" × 50"
Maximum sheet: 32" × 30"
Maximum form, one color: 31½" × 28" (two color: 15" × 28")
Floor space: 4' × 10'6"
Weight: 5000 lb

"Used in more than 400 leading photoengraving plants."

 
Vandercook 42-28E Power Proof Press 9/27/48 #13,139 - 8/30/66 #26,020

42-28From 1950 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 42" × 50"
Maximum sheet: 41¾" × 30"
Maximum form: 41" × 28" (two-color 19½" × 28")
Floor space: 4'10" × 9'
Weight: 5650 lb
Price (1950): $7650
Powered cylinder and inking. Gripper and cylinder pedals. Optional split vibrators for two-color work. Optional automatic frisket and delivery. Described as larger (and earlier) version of the 32-28E; however, the ink trip handle is shorter and the chain drive is not exposed.

 

 
1949    #13,306 and #07149. RIP 232P.
 
Vandercook 05 Hand Galley Proof Press 3/21/49 #10,669 - 9/9/58 #16,721

05From 1950 and 1957 Vandercook and 1953 WNU catalogs

Bed: 15" × 26"
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 28"
Maximum form: 14" × 24"
Floor space: 1'11" × 5'4"
Weight: 800 lb
Price (1950): $960

"There are no adjustments of any kind for an operator to make."

Automatic inking. Pushed, not cranked. Vulcanized rubber impression cylinder. Everything except the actual cylinder assembly looks the same as a 50s-era 15. 3" cylinder used on #15,931 (1952) up.

 

 
Vandercook 219 Hand Test Press 4/15/49 #11,507 - 7/9/58 #18,486 (includes 219 Power)

219From 1950 and 1957 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 19" × 42½"
Maximum sheet: 18¾" × 28"
Maximum form: 18" × 24"
Floor space: 3' × 10' (1957: 3'4" × 10'2")
Weight: 2400 lb
Price (1950): $3185

"Highly recommended for proofs intended for reproduction purposes." Motor-driven ink drum, short and long carriage travel. Optional automatic frisket./sheet delivery.  Wood feed board and paper trays.

Gaspereau's Press's 219 (with Vanderchick pic!)
Team-cleaning a 219
See also 219 Old Style, 219T Old Style, 219T New Style, 219AB, 219ABT, 219 Power

 

  
Vandercook 219AB Proof Press with Adjustable Bed
8/10/49 #13,666 - 7/25/58 #18,580

219ABFrom 1950 and 1957 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 19" × 42½"
Maximum sheet: 18¾" × 28"
Maximum form: 18" × 24"
Floor space: 3' × 10' (1957: 3'4" × 10'2")
Weight: 2500 lb (1957: 2700 lb)
Price (1950): $3640

Identical to the 219 New Style, with the addition of an adjustable bed (which has a pair of tool pockets recessed into it). Bed adjustable within .240" range. Motor-driven ink drum, short and long carriage travel. Optional automatic frisket/sheet delivery. Wood feed board and paper trays.

This one was sold on eBay for $2650 in June 2004. Another was offered for $3200 in May 2004. #15,861 (1952) was offered for $3600 in April 2004 and had slightly different measurements: Maximum sheet: 18¾" × 26" Bed: 19" × 41" Floor space: 9'4" × 26" Weight estimated at 2900 lb. Another was offered in January 2004 for $1800 and sold within minutes.

See also 219 Old Style, 219T Old Style, 219T New Style, 219 Hand, 219ABT, 219 Power.

 

 
Vandercook 22-34 Power Offset Proof Press 4/25/49 #13,393 - 9/20/51 #14,976

2234From 1950 Vandercook catalogs
Maximum sheet: 28" × 36"
Maximum form: 22½" × 35"
Floor space: 5' × 11'
Weight: 7600 lb
Price (1950): $11,875

Power cylinder, ink, water. Speed of the press can be regulated from 7 seconds for a complete cycle to 20 seconds. Sheet bed adjustable up to .120" in .001". Includes "ingenious 'AIR-WIPE Water Control' whereby air under pressure is released at the proper time through a slot in the under side of a channel on the cylinder carriage extending across bed."

 

  
Vandercook 25-24 Hand Test Press 8/23/49 #12,073 - 9/6/56 #18,032
2524
From 1950 and 1957 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 25" × 46¼"
Maximum sheet: 24¾" × 27"
Maximum form: 24" × 24½"
Floor space: 3'4" × 7'9"
Weight: 2000 lb (1957: 2200 lb)
Price (1950): $2310

"Low cost test press for forms in chases up to 25"."

Gripper pedal. Automatic inking. Almost identical to the 325G Hand, but called a test press rather than a proof press. Unlike the 325G, automatic delivery and ink fountain aren't advertised. Neither is a galley height bed plate, perhaps indicating a type-high bed. Includes narrow margin grippers, and left and right side guides for work and turn jobs.

 

  
Vandercook 42-28 Power Test Press  Dates and serial numbers unknown

42-28
From 1950 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 42" × 50"
Maximum sheet: 41¾" × 30"
Maximum form: 41" × 28"
Floor space: 4'10" × 9'
Weight: 5650 lb
Price (1950): $7740

A larger 32-28 and very similar to the 42-28E.

 

 

Vandercook 42-28 One and Two-Color Power Test Press
From 1957 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 42" × 50"
Maximum sheet: 41¾" × 30"
Maximum form, one color: 41" × 28" (two colors: 19½" × 28")
Floor space: 5'9"  × 10'6"
Weight: 5800 lb

"The largest test press in the Vandercook line for proving one and two-color plates and forms." The automatic frisket is optional.

 

 
Vandercook 32-28E Power Proof Press 12/15/49 #13,976 - 12/18/59 #19,364

32-28
From 1950 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 32¼" × 50"
Maximum sheet: 32" × 30"
Maximum form: 31½" × 28" (two-color 15½" × 28")
Floor space: 4' × 10'6"
Weight: 4750 lb
Price (1950): $5760

Powered cylinder and inking. Replaces and is very similar to the 232P (doubling its maximum speed). Two pedals: one for grippers and the other to control the cylinder. Optional split vibrators for two-color work. Optional automatic frisket and delivery. Described as an engraver's press, so perhaps that's what the E is for. The 42-28E is the larger (and earlier) version. The 32-28 seems to be the "test" version.

 

  
1950    #13,947 and #07285

From 1950 Vandercook catalog: "Main Crane Way"

 

Vandercook Research, Inc. building completed at 4701 West Iowa (across the street from the main N. Kilpatrick plant) by late 1950.

 
Vandercook 219ABT Proof Press 1/5/50 #14,017 - 10/21/54 #17,065
219ABT
From 1950 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 19" × 42½"
Maximum sheet: 18¾" × 28"
Maximum form: 18" × 24"
Floor space: 3' × 10'
Weight: 2500 lb
Price (1950): $3875

Same as the 219AB, but equipped for proving on acetate or glassine. "These transparencies are used in the production of lithographic plates and rotogravure cylinders, and are printed direct from type forms or plates on one side of the transparent material, and by offset from a rubber blanket on the other." Includes a pound of cotton and a can of talcum powder.
See also 219 Old Style, 219T Old Style, 219T New Style, 219AB, 219 New Style, 4T.

 

 
Vandercook 215 Proof Press 10/13/50 #14,473 - 3/23/56 #18,104

212From late 1950 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 15" × 35"
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 20"
Maximum form: 14" × 18"
Floor space: 2'6" × 8' 4"
Weight: 1350 lb

"This is the smallest proof press manufactured by Vandercook to meet the exacting proving requirements of photoengravers. ... also recommended for proofs intended for reproduction purposes." Power ink distribution, gripper pedal. The projection at the right end is a makeready table. The cabinet holds four extra inking units.

Offered for $2000 in November 2003.
This one was offered for for $500 in August 2004.

More images

 

 
Vandercook 68 Makeup Gauge Dates and serial numbers unknown

68From 1950 Vandercook catalog
Maximum form: 60 × 80 picas
Minimum form: 23 × 27 picas
Floor space: 31" × 42"
Weight: 850 lb

Includes proof press and string compartment.

"It is possible to make up forms that are exactly square — exactly alike in size — that can be justified to lift by controlled lockup pressure."

This proof press from a 68 (#68-67) went for $25 on eBay in June 2004.

 

 
1951    #14,802 and #07429. RIP 22-34

Robert O. Vandercook, 84 dies June 8.
Obituaries:

Chicago Tribune, June 9, 1951, page B7
Wilmette Life, 14 Jun 1951, page 68

Production partially interrupted by Korean War from 1951-1954 to produce electronic remote control gun sight for the Navy.

 

 
1952    #15,477 and #07566

Newspaper article excerpt about the building of new manufacturing plant:
Reporter Al Chase. "3 Industrial Firms Moving into Suburbs," Chicago Tribune Friday Oct. 17, 1952, Spt. -Bus Page 5F

1952 article

 

 
1953
    #15,950 and #07679. RIP 32-28