Victory Kidder Proofing Press

I have recently obtained a proofing press whose identifying label (seen as the red patch on the press in the attached photo) tells me it is a Victory Kidder 37 1/2” and that is all I know about it.

Nor does there seem to be any readily available information about the company producing proofing presses - they seem to have done very large presses and guillotines.

A helpful English printer gave me the following comment but its all I have:

“All I know about the Victory Kidders, is the fact that they manufactured proofing presses for Stephenson Blake under license from the Vandercook press company of America. For some reason this arrangement ended, when the Western Press Co. took over the manufacture in the late 1930s.”

The other vaguely defined label on the press is for the distributing company here in New Zealand (B J Ball).

Does anyone have any additional information on the press and/or the company’s role introduction?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Terry Craig

image: march2010 087.JPG

march2010 087.JPG

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Whoops - some embarrassment from typos in my first ever post!

The heading should read “Victory Kidder Proofing Press”.

And the second to last sentence should read “…the company’s role in its production.”

Sorry about that.


Victory Kidder were based in Birkenhead UK and were well known for producing quality machinery.
They produced the Johne Perfecta guillotine under licence for many years.
I can’t find any record of them in the registered companies list so I assume they are no longer in business.

This looks similiar to the No.32 Vandercook (

I know that Vandercooks were imported into Great Britain beginning in the 1920s (, but was unaware of this firm building them under license. I do know that licensing occurred after WWII (

Your press also looks like the British Harrild “Pullman” model.

Btw: on Briar Press you can edit posts and comments after publishing.

Thanks for the responses. The Vandercook #32 certainly looks very similar. I’ll follow up on that and have a look at the “Pullman” as well.


I don’t know if you are still interested but here goes. Victory Kidder was based in a factory in Laird Street Birkenhead, UK before moving to a new factory opposite Arrowe Park, Birkenhead. At this time the company was bought by Simon and it became known as Simon VK. I know the factory building is still there but not sure who owns it. I have a very old e-picture of the original factory if anyone wants it. My father worked there for 20-odd years.

At the Laird street plant, they were engaged in the manufacture of in line forms printing machinery, as well as Johne Perfecta paper cutting guillotines. They had a complete pattern making shop where they produced wooden formes(patterns) for casting steel and iron parts, as well as a complete workshop with lathes milling machines and boring machines. I worked there as part of my apprenticeship from 1956 to 1957, and it was a great experience.

[Posted on behalf of B Tonner —Eds.]