Vandercook Time Line   1954–2009

 
   
   
   
 
   
 
 
 
 
                 

 
1954    #16,549 and #07779. RIP 219ABT, 219T Old Style, 219T New Style

The 3601 West Touhy Avenue (Lincolnwood) plant is completed in January 1954 with 80,000 square feet at a cost of $2 million. According to Story of A Visit (June 1954), some products are manufactured in England, and annual sales are about $4,000,000.

 

 


Vandercook 15-19 Dry Offset Press
Dates and serial numbers unknown

From 1954 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 15" × 24¾"
Maximum sheet:14½" 19"3"
Maximum form: 14½" 19"
Floor space: 2'10" × 2'2"
Net weight: 1700 lb
Adjustable bed

 

 

 
1955    #17,404 and #07871. RIP 032


Vandercook 15-20 Dry Offset Press
2/8/55 #17,285 - 5/29/62 #21,890

15-20From 1957 Vandercook catalog
Distance between bed and cylinder bearers: 15½"
Maximum form and work size: 14½" × 20" × 1"
Floor space: 8'2" ×  3'2"
Net weight: 2300 lb

"Developed expressly for the production of printed circuits, nameplates and dials by the dry offset process. It will print from positive letterpess plates or forms on metal, glass, plastic cardboard, paper, and practically any other flat material up to 1-inch in thickness." A production press (not a proof press). Both plate and work beds adjustable from 1.100" to .600". Powered cylinder and ink drum. 400 cycles/hour (= 9 secs/cycle). Optional vacuum base and grippers.

 

 

 
Vandercook 15-21 Test Press 5/13/55 #17,734 - 11/25/58 #18,930

15-21 From 1957 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 15½" × 24¾"
Maximum sheet: 15¼" × 23"
Maximum form: 14½" × 21"
Floor space: 7' × 2'2"
Weight: 1875 lb

Can-fed ink feed. "Sprayset" — sheet is sprayed with ink setting solution when the delivery tray is returned to the left. Bed adjustable within .240" range. Automatic short travel cylinder trip, "making it unnecessary to travel the cylinder the full length of the bed when proving forms up to 14" long. The full 21" printing length can be obtained by merely traveling the cylinder to the end of the bed" (this sounds like you don't have to adjust a cam). The tray at the right end is for washing rollers. There is a niche in the bed for a plunger solvent can.

 

 
Vandercook 29-24G Power Proof Press Dates and serial numbers unknown

29-24GFrom 1957 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 29" × 59"
Maximum sheet: 25" × 28½" (minimum 8½" × 11")
Maximum form: 24 3/8" × 27½"
Floor space: 10'4" × 3'9"
Weight: 5050 lb "Up to 1500 impressions per hour with hairline register."

Can-fed ink feed. Optional anti-offset unit (the IV drip at the left). Optional vacuum sheet control, which sucks the sheet down on the feed board until gripped by the cylinder (this is surely required for "hairline register"). Optional static eliminator. Type-high bed. Auto-delivery. See 29-24A.Why is the bed so much longer than the maximum sheet?

 
Vandercook 29-24A Power Proof Press Dates and serial numbers unknown

29-24AFrom 1957 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 29" × 59"
Maximum sheet: 25" × 28½" (minimum 8½" × 11")
Maximum form: 24 3/8" × 27½"
Floor space: 10'4" × 3'9"
Weight: 6100 lb

The same as the 29-24G but equipped for newspaper capabilities, like printing stereotypes without printing the chase. See 325G Power and 325A Power for a similar pair. Galley-high bed. Sheets are delivered to a makeup truck. 

 

 
1956
    #18,040 and #07922. RIP 215, 15, 25-24.

 
1957
    #18,419 and #07952. RIP 4T, 604.
 
Vandercook 30-26 High Speed Double 4-Color Test Press
1/30/57 #18,500 - 7/25/72 #29,522

30-26From 1957 and 1968 Vandercook catalogs
Maximum plate, one set: 29" × 25½"; two sets: 13½" × 25½"
Maximum sheet, one set of plates: 30½" × 29"; two sets: 15" × 29"
Floor space: 4'5" × 26'4"
Weight: about 16,800 lb

"Designed for precise 4-color wet proofing."  "Larger ... more automatic ... than the 604." Four double beds, adjustable in .0005" increments. Ink monitor (in 1968). Proof dryer built-in (apparently the 30-30 under the feed board). Automatic frisket, sheet delivery, and ink feed. "Cardboard control system for holding cardboard against the cylinder to prevent smearing."Sic: "Safety bar to prevent damaging either plates or the press."See also Universal V, with which this press is said to share many features.

 

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

219PFrom 1957 Vandercook catalog
Bed: 19" × 42½"
Maximum sheet: 18¾" × 28"
Maximum form: 18" × 24"
Floor space: 2'8" × 10'9"
Weight: 3100 lb

Bed adjustable within .240" range. Powered impression cylinder — pressing the clutch pedal sends it back and forth.  Motor-driven ink drum. Adjustable cylinder stops for short or long forms. Optional automatic frisket/sheet delivery. Optional can-fed automatic ink feed.

See also 219 Old Style, 219T Old Style, 219T New Style, 219AB, 219ABT, 219 Hand

 

 
1958   #18,957. RIP 3, 219 New Style, 219AB, 320G, 05, 15-21.
 
Universal Series: 1958-76 I  II  III  IV  V

From 1968 Vandercook catalog
"The wide range of optional equipment offered enables the presses to be equipped or 'customized' for your specific requirements — from manual to complete power operation." Power driven inking and automatic washup are standard. Optional automatic delivery, ink monitor (on the I and III), variable-speed power cylinder, power grippers "for short run work", adjustable bed — accurate to within .0002", automatic register and vacuum plate bases, ink fountain, automatic frisket.

Harold E. Sterne comments:

The Universal series were quite popular with the paper mills for testing paper. There was a company in New England that made special attachments for those presses. At one time when they couldn't find anymore Universals they asked us if we could have them built from our blueprints. We contacted a machine company in Cincinnati that had experience building presses and they wanted $50,000 each to build them in lots of 10. Could find no takers.

 

 
Vandercook Universal I Hand Test Press 6/11/58 #19,329 - 2/5/76 #30,010
Part of the Universal series.

u1 From Universal I Sales brochure (1971)
Bed: 15½" × 39
Maximum sheet: 15¼" × 24"
Maximum form: 13" × 22
Floor space: 2'11" × 7'2" (add 3" for adjustable bed)
Net weight: 1200 lbs (add 500 lbs adjustable bed)

 

 

 

This one was offered for $2500 obo in August 2004, as was this one.This hand-operated #20372, without adjustable bed, was offered for $850 in May 2004. Offered for $2500 in May 2004.#20,474 (1960), with power driver, was offered for $3300 in April 2004. These presses have sold for over $4000. [M.W.]

 

 
Vandercook Universal I Power Test Press 6/11/58 #19,329 - 2/5/76 #30,010
Part of the Universal series.

u1
From Universal I Sales brochure
(1971)
Bed: 15½" × 39
Maximum sheet: 15¼" × 24"
Maximum form: 13" × 22
Floor space: 2'11" × 7'2" (add 3" for adjustable bed)
Net weight: 1300 lbs (add 500 lbs adjustable bed & 150 lbs for power drives)


More images

 

 

 

 
Vandercook Universal II
Hand and Power 5/20/58 #18,362 - 4/14/60 #20,284
Part of the Universal series. Only 55 were manufactured. Features a swing-out feed board as on the 219 New Style and the 215.
Takes the same 19" positive lockup bar as the the Universal III and 219.
Note the two foot pedals on the power carriage press on the right.

      

 

 

 

 
Vandercook 425 Short Run Press  9/16/58 #19,500 - 4/15/74 #29,819

425From 1968 Vandercook catalog

Maximum sheet: 24¾" × 27"
Power operated (1200/hour), static eliminator, "newspaper equipment" for printing stereotypes without printing the chase.

"Ideally suited for newspapers, printers and typesetters — and widely used for the printing of law and court briefs, full page newspaper proofs, advertising reprints, and telephone intercept directories."

From Fred Williams's article in Type & Press
Bed: 25" × 45" Maximum form: 24" × 24½" Floor space: 3'2" × 9'3" Weight: 4200 lb. 

Vandercook begins program of rebuilding presses and assigning new serial numbers.

 

 
1959   #19,489. RIP 2, 325A Power, 32-28E.
 
Vandercook Universal III Power Test Press 8/18/59 #20,133 - 6/26/74 #29,851
Part of the Universal series.

Uni3P


From 1971 Vandercook catalog
Bed size: 19" × 42½"
Maximum sheet: 18¾" × 28"
Maximum form: 18" × 24
Floor space: 3'3" × 8'4½" (add 3" for adjustable bed)
Net weight: 1800 lbs (add 550 lbs for adjustable bed & 150 lbs for power drives)

 

 

u3

If the last III was manufactured in 1974, then it looks like they still had some unsold inventory in 1981. [M.W.]

Bjørn Letterpress Studio Vandercook

 

 

 
Vandercook 13-28 12/31/59 #20,222 - 10/1/64 24,322

13-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Italian Sales Representatives Display Van

This van, located in Milan, was equipped with a Universal I Hand test press.
See also, Vandercook Mobile Technical Center.

 

 

 
1960
    #20,123. RIP 4, 14, 325G Power, 22, Universal II, 319.
 
Vandercook 319
4/5/60 #20,210 - 7/5/60 #20,646

319 From ad on Briar Press, February 2004

"... 18 × 24 sheet, electric impression s/n #20646 ... Self inking (adjustable). It runs on a 'power saving' 220V. This is a power press, not dissimilar to a Uni 1 with electric impression except it is operated from the rear, not the side. Up to 1000 impressions per hour.... $1950 obo." This was the last 319 made.

Galley height. Under blanket: 18" × 26½". Takes the same form roller as Universal III.

 

 

 

 
Vandercook Universal IV
7/29/60 #20,186 - 1/15/69 #28,185
Uni 4

From 1968 Vandercook catalog
Maximum sheet: 32-7/8" × 29½".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Vandercook SP20 Hand Test Press
 12/19/60 #20,900 - 3/12/76 #30,014

sp20
From 1968 and 1981 Vandercook catalogs
Maximum sheet: 19½" × 28"

Power ink distribution and automatic washup

 

 

 

 

How to lower a Vandy into your basement
eBay sighting

 

 
Vandercook Mobile Technical Center

This truck was equipped with an SP15.
See also, Italian Sales Representatives Display Van.

    

 

 
1961    #21,016
 
Vandercook SP15 Hand Test Press
5/12/61 #21,500 - 10/28/74 #29,951

sp15
Bed: 15" × 31½"
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 20"
Maximum form: 14" × 18"
Floor space: 2'8" × 5'9"
Net weight: 705 lb.

Optional powered inking and automatic washup. Galley height.

 

 

SP stands for Simple Precision and was "a low priced precision test press" series (1968 Vandercook catalog). Sometimes they used a hyphen between SP and the number, and sometimes they didn't.

Dan S. Wang had this interesting remark:

This press was used to produce a perfect proof of a handset form which was then made into a photo-litho plate for eventual offset mass reproduction. "In other words, this machine occupies the very specific and narrow period in which printing used both manual skills and photo offset automation." (from Archipelago 4.4 - Contributors)

The SP15 was also available without a motor and ink reservoir drum. While it is equipped with an oscillating roller The ink is distributed by manually turning a hand wheel mounted on the end of the front form roller core on the operator's side.

 

 

 

 

 

Briar Press | Museum
More images

 

 

 
1962   #21,629. RIP 15-20, 325A Hand, 325G Hand, 23SE
 
Vandercook SP13
4/24/62 #21,907 - 12/2/65 #25,422

sp13

Hand operated.
No grippers.
Under blanket: 12½" × 28".

Seen in March 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 
Vandercook Universal V
5/14/62 #21,000 - 2/25/72 #29,469

u5


Part of the Universal series.  Under blanket: 30½" × 25.875".
From 1968 Vandercook catalog
"A tandem 2-color press with many of the same features as the 30-26" (a four-color press).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Vandercook SP33
Power 5/25/62 #22,850 - 3/10/66 #25,639

SP33PUnder blanket: 26.062" × 32"
See also SP33 Hand

 

 

 

 

 

 
Vandercook SP33
Hand 12/12/62 #22,852 - 6/2/65 #24,986
See also SP33 Power

 

 

 
1963   #22,635
 
Vandercook LO15 Letterpress-Offset Test Press
Dates and serial numbers unknown

LO15From February 1963 Vandercook flyer
Bed: 15" between bearers
Maximum sheet: 14¾" × 20"
Maximum plate or form: 14" × 18" (7" × 18" when packed for both letterpress and offset)
Floor space: 2'9" × 7'11"
Net weight: 1400 lb (power drive 100 lb, adjustable beds 200 lb each)
Price (1963): $3960 (power drive $1275; either adjustable bed $1150, both $2150)

"For use in the laboratories of ink and paper manufacturers."

Split cylinder and inking system. Makes either one revolution/cycle for letterpress, or two revolutions/cycle for offset. Power inking. Automatic washup. Pedals for the cylinder grippers and the grippers on the sheet bed for offset. Optional power drive and adjustable bed(s).

LO15What's the name of this press? The name in this ad is clearly "L015," with a zero instead of an O. However, I believe this is a typo, and that this press is properly "LO15", in line with other press names like HS27 ("high speed") and the SPs ("simple precision"). [M.W.]

 

 
Vandercook SP25 Hand Test Press
1/18/63 #22,825 - 4/23/84 #30,126
See also SP25 Power.

From 1968 Vandercook catalog:
Maximum sheet: 24½ " × 28". Power ink distribution and automatic washup.
#30,126 was the last Vandercook Proof Press ever manufactured. See also SP25 Power.

 


Vandercook SP25 Power Test Press
6/27/63 #22,838 - 3/29/76 #30,005
See also SP25 Hand.

 

SP25From 1968 and 1981 Vandercook catalogs:
Maximum sheet: 24½ " × 28"
Power ink distribution and automatic washup.

 

 

 

 

 

 
1964   #23,425. RIP 13-28
 
Vandercook HS27 High Speed Electric Galley Proof Press
6/16/64 #24,099 - 2/27/76 #29,903
See also 23, 22.

hs27From 1968 and 1981 Vandercook catalogs

Maximum form: 12" × 27"

40 proofs per minute. "Can be set to automatically stop twice for each proof (laying and removing paper) or run continuously." Optional safety stops, automatic washup, foot-operated grippers.


More images

 

 

 
Vandercook 20-26 Flat Bed Offset Press
12/21/64 #24,096 - 7/27/70 #28,798

20-26
From The Vandercook Story, January 1964

 

20-26From 1968 Vandercook catalog

Adjustable plate and sheet beds.

"Can, in stepless increments, print an image up to 1/8" longer or 1/8" shorter than actual image size on the plate. ... Permits fast quality printing of metal nameplates, dials, rules, printed circuits, and wood grain panels."
 

 

 
1965   #24,630. RIP SP33 Hand, SP13

 
1966   #25,603. RIP 1, SP33 Power, 42-28

From a 1966 Catalog:

 

66 plant

 

 
1967   #26,475

 

 
1968   #27,255.

itw logoE.O. Vandercook sells company to Illinois Tool Works (ITW) for 3.6 million dollars.
(Chicago Tribune, April 18, 1968, pg. C7.)

 

 

 

317 BP ad

Publication unknown
inside back cover

 

Vandercook RO4-29 Rotary 4-Color Offset Test Press  Dates and serial numbers unknown



RO4-29

From 1968 Vandercook catalog

Maximum sheet: 23" × 29" (minimum 17" × 22")
Plate size: 25¼" × 31"
Maximum image transfer: 22½" × 29"
Blanket size: 30 5/16" × 31½"
Floor space: 9'2" × 8'8" (7'8" high)
Weight: 15,850 lb

"Duplicates ink trapping time of production presses, uses the same papers, inks and fountain solutions."

This photo reproduced with a schematic in Photo-Offset Fundamentals by John E. Cognoli (McKnight & McKnight, 2nd edition 1967, 3rd edition 1973, 4th edition 1980).

Hal Sterne remembers:

In 1985 I owned a RO4-29 at a magazine reprint plant I owned in Connecticut. It was a great conceptual press but a bear to run. I think the local liquor store was very happy with the results by our pressman. This press has one small impression cylinder, then a large blanket cylinder with four blanket segments, then a large plate cylinder with four plate segments. Each plate segment had its own dampening and inking systems, timed to drop them on the appropriate segment and lift them so they wouldn't touch the others. That kept the register perfect when you set it up correctly. The nice feature is that it would automatically print progressive proofs in any order that you wanted. The top speed was 1500 sheets per hour which was OK for the work we did because that was about our average run. The sheet size was 23" × 29" and we would try to gang run six pages. I think Vandercook sold about 70 of these presses and they had one service man stationed in New York to service all the presses.

 

 
1969   #28,195. RIP Universal IV

 
1970   #28,727. RIP 20-26

 

 
1971   #29,093

 

 
1972   #29,145. RIP Universal V, 30-26

ITW sells assets of Vandercook to Hugh Fletcher, who renames it Vandersons Corporation and moves it to Mt. Prospect, Illinois. Vandersons continues to rebuild presses and assign new serial numbers.

 


1973   #29,652

 
1974   #29,807. RIP 425, Universal III, SP15

 
1975   #29,931.

Vandercook & Sons Chief Engineer David D. Vandercook, 73, dies in January, day unknown.

 
1976-1983   #30,004. RIP Universal I, HS27, SP20, SP25 Power

Vandersons stops making presses in 1976.

 

 
Vandercook 4/Color Gravure Proof Press 
Model number, dates and serial numbers unknown

gravureFrom April 1977 Graphic Arts Monthly

Four-color gravure proofs up to 24" × 26" in less than five minutes, or multiple four-color proofs in excess of 100 per hour. Price: less than $30,000.
 

 
Vandersons Advert

Typographer ad

 
1984   #30,126. RIP SP25 Hand

 
1985  

EVOVandercook & Sons President Edward Oatman Vandercook, 88, dies July 13.
Obituaries:
Chicago Tribune
, Jul 14, 1985, page B12
Wilmette Life, 18 Jul 1985, page 127

 

 

 

 
1986

Vandersons moves to a new facility in Bensenville, Illinois in July.

 

 
1987

Vandercook & Sons Chief Financial Officer Fred R. Vandercook, CFO, (DOB unknown), dies September 3.

 

1989

Vandersons sold to Stuart Evans.

 

1994

Vandersons sold to Tom Bell and Harold Sterne of NA Graphics, Cincinnati, Ohio in January 1994.

 

1996

NA Graphics sold to Fritz Klinke of Silverton, Colorado in October 1996.

 

2003

Mark Wilden develops original Vandercook Proof Press website with images and data provided by Hal Sterne and several other Vandercook enthusiasts. See Contributors page.

 

2005

NA Graphics launches its e-commerce website.

Mark Wilden hands-off his website to Paul Moxon who develops it into the present site by providing a domain name and graphic identity, and adding numerous charts and tables and data in PDF. See Contributors page.

 

2006

Paul Moxon launches a blog for this website co-moderated by Fritz Klinke.

 

2009

Centenary of Vandercook proof presses.

 

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