C&P Oldstyle Serial Number


I am purchasing a 10x15 Old Style C&P press next weekend. I am trying to look up the date of when it was made. The serial # is C7007. The best list I have found thus far of serial #’s is at the link below.


If I have read the list correctly, it seems if I use only the Numer (7007) the lists says it was made in 1897. If I include the “C”,
the list says it was made in1911.

I simply wanted to know which interpretation of this list was correct. Also, I know with Vandercooks, the serials can lead to more exact information (manufacturer location, where it was first sold to, etc.), do C&P’s have such detailed information anywhere?

Thank you for your help.


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The C is important in the serial number, so your press is from 1911, assuming the number listed is the first of a year. There is no more detailed information available.

In the case of Vandercook, I have all the serial number records that have survived the demise of the company. That includes all the hand written ledger books starting in 1909 up into the 1940s, and then each press or other equipment had a separate file card typed for it and those are stored in numerical order by press model. A few of the cards have disappeared. These are here because several employees of Vandercook purchased the parts and supply part of the business and kept that going into the early 1990s. They acquired all the trademarks, patents, etc along with the complete blue prints for all the parts and pieces of the presses. What they didn’t retain were company financial files and correspondance. These were either destroyed by the parent company at the time, Illinois Tool Works, or were retained for corporate purposes such as tax records and the like. Ultimately, I’d assume these records were destroyed.

Typically, when a business ceases operation, through liquidation or bankruptcy, the assets are sold off and whatever is left over goes for scrap or is destroyed, like paper files, and the like. When ATF went bankrupt, the physical assets were sold at auction in 1993, some of the paper work survived, and what ever was left in the building, including the contents of file cabinets, etc were cleaned out and ended up in the landfill. And that’s what happened at C&P. They had an auction of the plant, certain assets were purchased perhaps in advance by other manufacturers, machines, patterns, etc. all went at auction. Some of the patterns for several of the presses survive with firms like Lutz Machinery, but I have never heard if any of the records were saved. Unless someone had wanted to continue part or all of the company, there would have been no reason to retain the records, and that would include the serial number records, which must have been substantial if they did anything like Vandercook.

Current companies, like Challenge and Rouse, that once had strong letterpress lines, will tell you that they have no records, blueprints, parts, or even corporate memory of their old lines. Some are surprising, like Rosback, who have maintained all their production equipment going back to the 19th century, primarily because most of the world’s perforating units used in postal work were made by Rosback and they get occasional calls for things that can be made only with the old production equipment. That’s why I’m able to stock perforating pins for a line of machinery that hasn’t been made for 30 or more years, but I have to buy 5000 at a time to justify bringing that piece of equipment out of the warehouse.

I contacted Kluge several years ago about publishing a serial number list like the one we have for C&P, but they were not receptive to the idea, perhaps for liability reasons. Unfortunately, the in depth back up records for the C&P presses like we have for Vandercoook, are long gone, but may not have yielded much useful information as their presses were sold mainly through equipment dealers. Many of the Vandercook cards show the press being sold to a dealer with no further information.

Thanks for the info Fritz1 and Arie Koelewyn, very helpful.

Adam, your press is a 1911, according to the list. The C represents it being a 10X15 model. The numbers you are looking at that doesn’t have the C in front is simply machines made before they started using the letters in front.
A= being 7X11
B= 8X12
C=10X15 etc, etc. Hope this makes sense.

Winfred Reed
Black Diamond Press (Kentucky)