Not long ago I interviewed Stanley A. Metza, West coast regional sales manager for Vandercook from 1960 to 1975. Now 94 years old, he spoke of heading a four-man sales team selling Vandercook products from the 30-26 four-color proof press to the SP15 which he deemed “a pup.” The son of Polish immigrants, the young Mr. Metza worked as a dental mechanic in Chicago making false teeth for 18 years. In 1944, he joined Vandercook & Sons as an expeditor of war materials, coordinating the procurement of parts for the .30 caliber carbine rifle. He claims 1500 weapons were produced per day. Mr. Metza left Vandercook in 1947 to start a plastics business with fellow employee Roy Diez. The venture lasted only six months, after which Mr. Metza became a tool and diemaker. Being mechanically inclined, he could fix just about anything except watches. After kidney problems forced him to give up this trade, he returned to Vandercook in 1953 and was tapped by CFO Fred Vandercook to oversee the construction progress of the new plant on W. Touhy Blvd. He says he still has a dime he found embedded in the wet concrete there, and that the building and its machine tools were the main reason ITW acquired Vandercook in 1968.
Born Feb. 12, 1913 in Chicago, Mr. Metza died July 18, 2009 in Van Nuys, California.
See also profiles of E.O. Vandercook and Bill Critchlow.
Photo courtesy Fritz Klinke/NA Graphics