What’s in a name

Vandercook Universal I Name plate

Each press has a serial number. So far the press has been known as #20443. But today I’ve given her a name… Serendipity.

She has a lot of history. I consulted NA Graphics for their resource on the Vandercook census. There may be more information but from what was recorded, Serendipity came from Vandercook & Sons in Chicago, Illinois. She was shipped to her first owners, Rodgers & Neligh Advertising Typographers in July of 1960 to Sacramento, then moved to another spot in Sacramento, the Sacramento Lithograph Co. and finally somewhere in the Hunters Point area in San Francisco where Verdant Press found her. For being around so long, she’s really a fine press.

After a lot of thought about just the whole process of acquiring the press, Serendipity, was the name that seemed to fit. I had been searching for years and nothing ever really felt right. When I found this press, I had just finished a long production and lots of travel and wasn’t really looking for a press at the time. But thanks to the wonders of a google alert I set a long time ago, the listing came up for this Uni-I. AND I happened to be the first to make the inquiry.

It was really amazing to find all the connections I had to this press… knowing the press came from a student of Gerald’s, I knew it was going to be well-maintained. Also even though Verdant Press had to make some repairs to it (it didn’t have a handle)…the replacement handle actually came from Gerald as well!

All in all… it was serendipitous!


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