equipment in use at the Excelsior Press

Model 219 AB
Proof Press

New Series
Serial #17374 - 1954
available in
Jackson, MI
listed 8/1/19

WEIGHT 2000-3,000 pounds

Vandercook 219 AB from Vander

Vandercook Model 219AB
(hand crank version shown)
image courtesy of Paul Moxon and

From 1950 and 1957 Vandercook catalogs
Bed: 19" 42"
Maximum sheet: 18" 28"
Maximum form: 18" 24"
Floor space: 3' 10' (1957: 3'4" 10'2")
Weight: 2500 lb (1957: 2700 lb)
Price (1950): $3640

This press has just come off the floor where it has sat - and was used - since it was purchased by a Typesetting Business in Michigan in 1954.

It's in great shape -may need new rollers, but nothing else but some moderate cleaning and oiling.

It does, however have a 3-phase motor, which could be replaced or powered by a converter.

This press is pretty much rust-free, appears to have been well cared-for, but it is pretty large and quite heavy. Moving will require much planning and a large, strong trailer. It will will fit through a 36" door when fully assembled - and should not be disassembled.

This press' weight could be anywhere from 2000-3000 pounds, and can be managed by two strong people using leverage, jacks, pipes, ramps and a chain hoist to pull onto a trailer.

- Alan

click on any photo to see larger image

This old Vandercook 219AB
has an adjustable bed and is in search of a new home. It was made in 1952, and has been in this location since the mid 1950s. The press is currently motorized (3 phase) but could be converted to hand-cranking if you want - although with this large cylinder and form size, the motor would really help in production.

This press is perfect for large posters, multi-page book layouts and pretty much anything that any smaller Vandercook can do.

Note also that these presses sell for more than the owner is asking - $9,000. Another for sale on the west coast is listed at $15k and that seller reports rejecting offers of $13,500 and $14,500. Presses like this have recently sold in this price range, but the seller open to a best offer as well.  This press has value and is easily accessible in Jackson, Michigan. Loading assistance is available.

A press like this - located in Kansas - was listed for sale for $15,000 on Briar Press last year

We will add some photos of the press at it's home in Michigan as well as some notes from the owner.

Note that although hand-fed, this press is power driven - for faster production with less effort. Want to print 500 posters - tonight? no problem. Want to print 500 8-page signatures for a letterpress book? The job can be done in two hours, easily.

Either of these jobs would take a day or two - and be very tiring on a hand-cranked proof press. We can get 300 impressions off of our Model 4 in one hour.... but then have to rest for an hour before we have the energy -and enthusiasm - to do another 200... With this press, you could print 500 posters in the morning, then go to lunch... and come back after lunch and do another 500... with no strain besides picking up and placing all of those sheets into the grippers and then onto a drying rack...
Vandercook Model 219AB powered Flatbed Press

Note: This press is the ideal size for a book publisher or poster shop or large-format art studio. It will print a sheet up to 19 3/4 x 26" with a form - and image area - as large as 18x24

Contact us directly for details. -

Please visit our "Letterpress Rescue" page and
contact us

to connect with the owner of this press. (It is not our press)

page last updated  August 1, 2019