REPRINTED FROM TYPE & PRESS / COURTESY OF APA
How old is
your C & P?

New series presses
8x12

B50,000
to B52337—1911-1915
to B58950—1916-1925
to B61502—1926-1930
to B62300—1931-1935
to B62850—1936-1940
to B63077—1941-1945
to B64159—1946-1950
to B64565—1951-1955
to B64,751—1956-1960
to B64780—1961-1962

10x15
to XC102—1925-1927
to XC163—1931-1933
to XC202—1934-1936
to XC236—1937-1941

10x15
C50100
to C53671—1911-1915
to C67101—1916-1925
to C71300—1926-1930
to C71987—1931-1935
to C72677—1936-1940
to C72901—1941-1946
to C76100—1947-1950
to C76666—1951-1955
to C77077—1956-1960
to C77168—1961-1964

12x18
X100
to X2101—1921-1925
to X3548—1926-1930
to X3794—1931-1935
to X3846—1936-1941

CRAFTSMAN PRESSES
12X18

D50,000
to D52266—1911-1915
to D55552—1916-1920
to D60151—1921-1925
to D61852—1926-1930
to D62254—1931-1935
to D62685—1936-1940
to D62836—1941-1946
to D63518—1947-1950
to D63930—1951-1955
to D64145—1956-1960
D64202—1961-1964

14.5x22
XK100
to XK464—1927-1930
to XK841—1931-1940
to XK1051—1941-1960
to XK1058—1961-1962

14.5x22
K50001
to K50166—1911-1915
to K51468—1916-1920
to K52224—1921-1925
to K53033—1926-1930
to K53277—1931-1935
to K53609—1936-1940
to K53751—1941-1946
to K54318—1947-1950
to K54589—1951-1955
to K54721—1956-1960
to K60001—1961-1964

14.5x22
HHK101
to HHK147—1935-1940
to HHK452—1941-1950
to HHK693—1951-1958
to HHK735—1959-1961

C & P—Pressman's Favorite


By Fred Williams, Editor-Publisher
Type & Press

Published Summer 1977

If a favorite press poll was ever conducted among pressmen and printshop proprietors, there is no doubt that the C&P would win all the honors, grippers down!

Pressmen loved its easy accessibility for makeready, long impression dwell, pause for feeding plus its heavy precision construction which enabled the C&P to print "run of the hook" from a postage stamp to large four-color register forms or die cutting.

Proprietors loved its ability to run just about any job profitably with practically no "down time" in spite of little maintenance.

Chandler & Price Meet 1881

Harrison T. Chandler, an Illinois banker, while negotiating to buy an interest in the Cleveland Type Foundry, met William H. Price, son of a builder of printing presses. They founded the Chandler & Price Co. of Cleveland to build printing equipment.

In 1884 the partners introduced their famous jobber in two sizes –7xll and 10xl5 and by year's end over 300 presses had been built. Subsequently the press was built in 8xl2, 14x20, 14.5x22 sizes.

The C&P was not of original design, being based on several expired patents granted to George Phineas Gordon about 1850. This famous press had a reciprocating vertical bed mounted on two long legs hinged to a shaft at the rear base of the press. This "long hinge" made it possible for the printing surface to approach the platen nearly parallel. The motion of the platen, controlled by a toggle actuated by a cam wheel, moved the bed forward at the proper sequence in the cycle.

Highly Competitive

The press building business of the 70s and 80s was a speculative and highly competitive one, over 100 platen press models being built by scores of companies. Many were cheap, light-weight machines for use in small country printing offices. Often of the "clam shell" variety with bolted frame and a stationary bed. The platen, hinged at the bottom, offered no dwell for feeding, simply flapping open and closed, exerting more impression at the bottom of the sheet than the top. Many of these presses and their manufacturers had short lives.

The C&P was able to outlast an its rivals by concentrating on building quality into its presses. It's not unusual to find them still operating profitable after over 50 years of daily use.

Enterprise Flourishes

The C&P sold well and the company with Chandler as president, was capitalized at $200,000. The company also made paper cutters, proof presses, composing sticks, hand presses, etc. Partner William Price died in 1895.

The business prospered and by 1901 the company added its sixth addition to its factory. This same year Chandler & Price bought out the tottering Gordon Press Works at Rahway, N.J. and the right to use the name Gordon. George Gordon had died in 1878. And so Gordon's name was kept alive but never exploited by Chandler & Price. Several other companies had used this name including: Challenge Gordon (1884-1910), Jones Gordon (1888-1901), Thorpe-Gordon (1886-1890), Straight Line Gordon (1891) and Peerless Gordon (1891-1900).

By 1900 the Rahway operation had become unprofitable and was closed down, all manufacturing being done at Cleveland. In the preceeding 10 years over 10,000 old style jobbers had been sold.

Over 18 different companies had made imitations of the Gordon old style jobber but by 1910 C&P had the field all to themselves. The following year this Cleveland firm introduced their New Series line of platen presses. Still of the old style design, the new press was available in 8x12, 10x15, 12x18 and 14.5x22 sizes.

The earlier C&P presses, now referred to as the Old Series, were characterized by ornate castings, a high base and a large curved-spoke flywheel whereas the New Series, with plain castings, was constructed heavier throughout. With a low silhouette, it had a smaller straight-spoke flywheel; roller frames and side ribs turned to the inside.

The following year President Harrison Chandler died.

In 1921 the Craftsman models were introduced. These presses, still basically of Gordon old style design, had a massive one-piece frame; four form, two vibrator rollers and a brayer fountain, were capable of executing work comparable to a pony cylinder. Widely used for halftone and fine register work, the press came in 10x15, 12x18 and 14.5x22 sizes.

Believing the hand-fed jobber could no longer be operated economically various automatic feeders were developed in the 20s and 30s. Most of these feeding units–the Miller, Kluge, Klymax and B&K were designed to fit C&Ps. Subsequently Miller and Kluge began building their own presses to accommodate their feeders and Chandler & Price faced with loss of sales, introduced their Rice feeder on their 10x15, 12x18 and 14.5x22 Craftsman models.

Subsequently all companies except C&P and Kluge abandoned building automatics, and these two companies sold their presses competitively until the early 60s when the tremendous growth of offset duplicating plus competition from Kluge and the Heidelberg, eventually doomed all models of the C&P with the exception of the 14.5x22, which continues to be made. It is still in demand for die cutting, perforating, scoring, heat foil, embossing, imprinting, etc.

Altho the next few decades may see the C&P fade into history, the press remains as a tribute to a banker and a press builder, who over 90 years ago, joined forces and entered a highly competitive market. Through mass production techniques they improved the press until they were the major producer of the Gordon Old Style press in the United States.
It’s popularity is attested by the fact that over 90% of the platen jobbers in use in the 1030s were C&Ps. It is estimated that 100,000 have been built to date.