Vicobold Machines: Victoria Platens

These presses are of German descent — made by Rockstroh-Werke AG of Heidenau — but were made in the UK by Frank F Pershke.

Rockstroh-Werke AG made three models of machine –

  • Victoria (Model ‘B’)
  • Auto-Victoria (Model ‘C’)
  • Kobold

The three UK-made models were –

  • Vicobold
  • Autovicobold
  • Autovic

Information from Frank F Pershke adverts is reproduced below. The address given was Dover House, 170 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1

General Principles

The key feature of these machines is that they employ a ‘parallel platen’ approach. The platens are not hinged (like most other presses), but runs on rails in the vertical position. This ensures that impression is even over the face of the forme.

Inking is by a rotating cylinder at the head of the machine — rather than an inking disk. The machines are based on the Victoria Heavy Art Platen.

Vicobold

Machine Max Sheet Size Inside Chase Size Platen Size Space Occupied Power Required Net Weight
Vicobold 10.25″ x 14″ (26 x 35.5cm) 9.5″ x 13.25″ (24 x 33.5cm) 11″ x 14.25″ (28 x 36cm) 49″ x 47″ (124 x 120cm) 0.5hp 8.5cwt (425kg)

This machine is hand-fed and follows the same principles as the others in the series. Ink is supplied to the inking drum through a screw controlled duct, and transferred to the forme with two rollers. Impression strength can be changed with a single nut at the back of the platen: the parallel approach takes care of all of the forme with that one change.

There were at least two models — the Model ‘C’ which was motorised; and a Model ‘T’ run with a treadle.

Autovicobold

Machine Max Sheet Size Inside Chase Size Platen Size Space Occupied Power Required Net Weight
Autovicobold 10.25″ x 14″ (26 x 35.5cm) 9.5″ x 13.25″ (24 x 33.5cm) 11″ x 14.25″ (28 x 36cm) 38″ x 62″ (97 x 219cm) (with auto feeder in position) 1.5hp 13cwt (650kg)

This machine is essentially the Vicobold with an automatic feed and delivery system. A selling feature was that the feed and delivery system could be wheeled away when needed: allowing the machine to be used as a hand-fed machine, and also to allow open access to the working area during set-up.

Autovic

Machine Max Sheet Size Inside Chase Size Platen Size Space Occupied Power Required Net Weight
Autovic 13.375″ x 18.125″ (34 x 46cm) 13.5″ x 17.75″ (34.5 x 45cm) 14.25″ x 18.875″ (36 x 48cm) 56″ x 65″ (141 x 165cm) (with auto feeder in position) 1.5hp 24cwt (1220kg)

This machine is a larger size than the other two models, and occupies a substantially larger space. It was supplied with an optional feed system. Inking is by means of three rollers: two are in contact with then forme on the way ‘down’, and the third roller is engaged with the form only on the way ‘up’. There are two additional rollers in the inking mechanism for ink distribution. An automatic wash-up system is also included.