Saturday, September 13, 2008

vandercook sp-20

This summer when I was visiting my parents in Washington, my mom and I spent the entire time searching for letterpress equipment. At the end of a long day, we drove past one last antique shop and debated if we should stop or not. While we didn't find any letterpress equipment, we ran into a woman my mom knew and she suggested we check out the printing store right in my hometown. The next day we stopped by and they had three large letterpress printing machines they used for numbering and die-cutting in the very back of the store. We also decided to head to the newspaper to see if they had any old equipment that wasn't being used. The owner took us into the back and jackpot! There was an antique linotype machine, proof press, Chandler and Price, paper cutter, Miehle and more. I was really interested in the Chandler and Price but he wasn't interested in selling. However, he was interested in selling the proof press which had sat unused for at least 25 years and had just become a stacking place for old newspapers. He didn't have any idea what would be a fair price and neither did I so I promised to go home and do some research and come back to him with an offer. A few hours later, I took my dad into the newspaper so he could see the machine and the owner offered to give it to me for free as long as I could get it out of there (it weighs over 1800 pounds)! My dad and brothers kindly spent a day loading and unloading the machine into my parents garage and both my parents and siblings have spent countless hours cleaning, researching and working getting the press into complete working order. I finally had a chance to see it in person (I'm in Utah, they're in Washington) a few weeks ago and I am so excited! It is amazing! I'm going back at the end of next month so I can spend a few days printing, printing and printing some more. Thank you Colfax Gazette for giving us such an amazing gift. It will be put to good use!

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