History

Two Early Custom Vandercooks

Here are two very large proof presses specially designed by R.O. Vandercook, and built by Chicago machinists Reichel & Drews, circa 1912–14. While neither press is known to exist today, they demonstrate that Vandercook was able to satisfy specific client requests early in his career as a manufacturer. The illustration at left, accompanying an article in the June …

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Me and my No. 4

Hi all, Over the past couple years I’ve visited this wonderful resource often and just wanted to go legit and introduce myself here. I found my No. 4 by pure coincidence two years ago deep in the warehouse of a folding carton plant where I worked in suburban Los Angeles. I had been in production, …

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Vandercook & Company Engravers

Revised. Author and printing historian Stephen O. Saxe sent me this advertisement he found in the June 1890 (and following) issues of The Printers’ Album, the house publication of Schniedewend & Lee, a printing equipment manufacturer in Chicago.* Vandercook & Company was operated by H.R. Vandercook and F.N. Tucker, circa 1880-1910. It was a separate business from …

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Three Generations of Lee at Challenge Machinery

From its founding and through several decades, the Lee family ran the Challenge Machinery Company. Challenge, which began as the successor to Shniedewend & Lee, became one of the largest printing equipment manfacturers with a wide range of products. Among their many innovations were the first paper drilling machine, the first hydraulic paper cutter and …

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A.F. Wanner

Andrew Franklin Wanner (1855–1935) was a typefounder and the proprietor of A.F. Wanner & Co. a printing supplier and press manufacturer in Chicago. Today the company is remembered as the original maker of Potter and Poco proof presses. It was also one of the earliest selling agents for Vandercook. In 1867, Wanner moved to Chicago …

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Screw threads: British vs. American

This will likely be of interest to owners of British-built Vandercooks: Chip Coakley (the Jericho Press) emailed me with the serial number on his No. 4 made by Pre-Press Ltd. and to let me know that its original brass bearing blocks had British Standard Whitworth interior threads. When he bought replacement blocks from NA Graphics, …

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NYC circa 1954

Here’s the cover and spreads from an eight page booklet (5×7″) showing Vandercook’s Eastern Office and Demonstration Room. Formerly located at 323 East 44th Street, this aerial photo suggests that it had a view of the distinctive United Nations building (foreground), which was completed in 1952. Posted for New York friends in advance of my …

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Larger Images Posted of SP15 Sales Ephemera

A request was made via email for larger images than those I previously posted to the Flickr Vandercook group of the ephemera I received with my SP15 no. 23339. I’ve just completed uploading massive original scans to replace the measly ones previously posted. http://www.flickr.com/photos/interrobang918/375450973/in/photostream/ Perhaps they can be of some use, though I believe I …

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