The moniker “gravity press” refers to models 0, 01, 03, and 099, a group of small tabletop presses that were the simplest ones Vandercook built. The Impression cylinder rolls on the bearers (with bearings riding on the under rails), but are not geared, and do not have paper grippers, an inking assembly nor a motor. They also have a different serial number series from the larger, more complex presses. Because of their small size there are still quite a few in letterpress shops. Fritz tells us that Vandercook also built the presses for the Showcard Co. until the late 1950s, and has two serial number books for them.
Thanks is due to Alan Runfeldt of Excelsior Press whose enthusiasm for these machines suggested another census was warranted. Only a few are listed right now, but it may be interesting to see how many are added.
I’m searching for an 03, high and low. If you know of one, or have one you are thinking of parting with, drop me a line:
I pulled some blueprints today on the 01 and 03 presses and Vandercook labled them “office presses” but that may have changed. I’ll do some more looking as I hadn’t really paid too much attention to these, and with so few parts, there are not many blueprints.