Does anyone know of any surviving examples of the Hacker No. 4 proof press, as pictured in the “Other Brands” link – in museums, private collections, or in use? Thanks, John


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6 thoughts on “Hacker No. 4 Proof Press”

  1. I met with a friend this weekend and she said the University of Dallas has a Vandercook 17 and a Hacker Press I’m going to meet with the gentleman that teaches there and will report back here what I find.

    Casey
    iLP

  2. Well, my Hacker didn’t have all the features you see in the pictures, nor on the later Hackers I’ve seen; it looked like a Challenge/Potter with simple pedestal base, fixed headstops (they could be shimmed for slight adjustements), and gripper fingers over the packing. Still, it had a Horace Hacker plate on it, stamped No. 4.
    There was some problem with the inking system (it seized up regularly), so I inked by hand. But the impression was good, perhaps better than the SP-20 that replaced this Hacker. And it was great for a small basement shop, since it had a small at-rest footprint.
    The cranking motion was also harder than a Vandercook. As I recall it 25 years later, the crank did not drive the cylinder directly. Instead, the handle pushed on a radial coil spring, and when that tightened, then the cylinder moved. A bit of body english was needed to start and especially stop the cylinder.

  3. Thanks Eric,
    It must be disappointing that your donated Hacker proof press disappeared. Maybe it will turn up again someday. The No. 4 is a good looking proof press – was it good to print on?

  4. I know of three no. 4 Hackers, one in use at a fine press in Santa Cruz, one in storage in the South Bay Area, and another that has moved to somewhere in the Northwest. There is also a larger power Hacker at a fine press in Berkeley.
    I had an earlier version of the Hacker no. 4 (17×22 sheet size, not 18×24) and donated it to a local art school when I got my first Vandercook in 1984. That school has no idea what happened to the press, but it isn’t there any more.

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