Unknown press markings

Hello all –

You’d think that after 4 years of owning this press and scrubbing, cleaning, and rebuilding most parts of our SP20, I’d have seen everything. A few weeks ago I noticed a pair of markings on the non-operator side of our press.

Directly across the end of the press from the serial number and the inspector mark (J.HLAVIN), outside the bearer is the following CM stamp:


It’s not on the other, newer SP20 in our shop. Does anyone recognize it? Could it stand for Chicago Machinery (wild guess) or Craftsman Machine Co (sacrilege!)?

Is it from a sub-contractor or reseller?

Thanks all!

5 thoughts on “Unknown press markings

  1. kyle van horn - April 8, 2012

    Hi Paul –

    The serial number you mentioned above, 28222, is actually for Doug Wilson’s press (on loan to BPS). The 22466 number is for the press owned by Baltimore Print Studios, and is the one containing the CM initials.

    It is an ‘old-style’ SP20 (pre leaf springs). Does that shed any light on the mystery?

  2. kyle van horn - April 6, 2012

    Thanks Paul.

    The marking for both the serial number and Hlavin are both very precise and delicate. The CM is much more rough and imprecise. I don’t think they have similar origins.

    Thanks too for the serial number correction. I’ll fix it in the post. The other one is Doug Wilson’s press’ number.

  3. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 6, 2012

    Could be. There was a Conrad Majewski, and a Charlie McLaughlin who worked in roughly the same time, 1969, that Kyle’s SP20 (sn: 28222) was built. So far their positions within the company is not known. But “CM” may not refer to a person.

  4. jhenry - April 6, 2012

    Do you suppose that C.M. was fairly new to the inspection dept. and Hlavin had to certify his work? That could account for two inspectors marking one press.

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 5, 2012

    Mysterious, yes. “CM” has been reported on a couple other SP20s, but no clues have been found in the Vandercook archives. Similarly, several 219 OS presses (1927-47) have various two letter suffixes stamped after the serial number: “BS”, “CH”, “DJ”, “EF”, “FS”, “KS”, “OT”, “OY” and “QE”. One thought is that these could be the initials of factory employees, but most of those who are known post date its production run.

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