Galley Proof Presses Identification and help

Hello hello! I’ve put an ad in the ‘Wanted’ section of the website, but I really wanted to put a post up here as well.

I’m a student at Okanagan College in British Columbia. We have a programme on Writing & Publishing and our professor, Jason Dewinitz (who runs Greenboat House Press) has sent us on projects to research type and different kinds of letterpresses.

I chose to research the two galley proof presses we have downstairs in our little bunker of a printing room.

The two particular presses I am researching are:

Vandercook Zero - serial number 07842
Challenge Galley Press which is similar to the Miles Nervine located in the museum.

What I’m looking for is help with finding information (the books I’ve come across only include proof presses as part of the appendix or as a small paragraph include) on these presses, but also on the history of the manufacture of these presses.

I’d also really like to get in touch with printers that use galley proof presses in their work. I’d like to interview you about using them, about particular nuances of the machines, and about your acquisition of the presses.

I’m really fascinated by the heavy metal roller of the Challenge and we haven’t quite used it yet and we were discussing today whether you need to put rubber on the roller or if you just ink it directly and run it over the type.

Anyway I hope someone can help! I’d love to speak to you about your presswork and if you can share with me some contacts that would be most appreciated!

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The Challenge should have an industrial wool felt covering sew onto it. The type is inked by hand with a roller, paper laid on top and the roller is rolled over the paper. The press was probably made sometime between 1895 and 1920 by the Challenge Machinery Company in Grand Haven, Michigan.


Thank you for the help Paul! When I told my professor about this we all just said, “Ahhh. Felt. That makes sense.” I appreciate your help.

For all questions Vandercook, check out the Vanderblog. The info on the 0 is here-