Black #4 October 28, 2020October 29, 2020 by Norman 2 Comments Came across a nice #4 but it is black Do you know if Vandercook made black ones? Norman Hicks +1 415-725-1670
If it’s a later model Vandercook, the paint color is likely a one-off refurbishing. Did this No. 4 come from Vancouver, B.C.? If it’s the one I’m thinking of it was painted to match other equipment.in the shop.
It appears that the earliest Vandercooks were originally painted black. By the 1920s., they were dark green. In the late 1930s they settled on what was called in catalogs as machine tool gray.
This from practicalmachinist.com:
Prior to WW1, machines were typically sent out with whatever type of coating the manufacturer could use to reduce oxidation…. paint wasn’t so common.
February 6, 1922 marks the signing of the Five Power Naval Limitation Treaty, aka “Five Power Treaty” or “Washington Naval Treaty”, under which naval disarmament took place between US, UK, Japan, France, and Italy.
This treaty was the incipent force of an economic ‘shock wave’ that struck all the affected countries- it put millions out-of-work… starting with shipyards, and steel mills, railroads, and materials suppliers… working it’s way down through the economies of all countries.
The other affect, is that many materials previously slated for warship production, went to surplus markets. Grey paint was one of those materials.
Lots of machine tool manufacturers bought grey paint at a substantial discount as a result… and (pun intended)… it ‘stuck’…