Hacker Hand Press

I’ve been preforming some long overdue maintenance on a university owned Hacker (as well as a number of other presses). A number of parts have been removed, particularly the inking assembly so I’ve been having trouble identifying what type of Hacker. The brass nameplate only identifies it as a “Hacker Hand Press”. I was hoping for a concrete identification, or possibly images of other Hackers that are in better condition. The max form/sheet size is about 18” x 24”. I’m guessing it’s a No. 4. but it looks different from the examples I’ve found online.

Any information regarding the press would be greatly appreciated. Currently I’ve removed the feed board and gripper assembly to be cleaned properly (pardon the bare bones third image). SN: B2243 - Patented April 4, 1922


Adam Leestma

image: Hacker1.jpg


image: Hacker2.jpg


image: Hacker3.jpg


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If 2243 is the serial number then it would be a very early #4. I have looked at all I could find on the Hackers and from what I can tell they made many changes over the years. You can see the progression:

Mine is 2511:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157651734602072

The base changed soon thereafter to a much larger square one. This is Serial # 2564
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157634050587263/

This is 2703:

If this is not in the Hacker census you can add it here:

I’ll see what I can find in the Hacker records. We have all the serial number cards for the #4 machine and this sort of looks like a #4, but it will have to wait until morning. I’ve seen Chris Chen’s #2703 but that’s it for actual presses.


Thanks for the help. Here’s a detail of the gripper assembly.

image: HackerGripper.jpg


Hacker No. 4 describes a lot of different designs, varying over time and with options. The No. 4 I had was 17x22 maximum sheet, did not have adjustable head stops, the grippers were fingers that closed on the top-sheet rather than pads (as did the handfed cylinders still in use then), only two forms, an oscillator and a rider. This would have been bottom of the line, but still solidly built. And the handle did not drive the cylinder directly, but pushed against a heavy coil spring, which seemed to require extra energy.

After Vandercook took over Hacker in 1938, they transferred all the Hacker files to the Vandercook file card system, and as their salesmen and repair people made sales and service calls, the cards were up dated. This press, SN 2243 is listed by Vandercook as a 4H and based on the serial numbers before it and after, was originally shipped in 1925. The present card shows a date of 3/24/39 with the press being at Sterling Engraving Co., 1045 Sansome St., San Francisco and it had a H-700 inker. There was a note, “Sold,” typed on the card in red. It appears that about 300 of this model was made. The photo of the Hacker #4 shown in my set of pictures on flickr that Larry referenced above was made from the original 8x10 photo negative in our files and I scanned a print made from that negative.

Thanks for all of the information!

Here’s some photos of the gripper assembly after I cleaned and put it back together.

- Adam

image: HackerGripperClean2.jpg


image: HackerGripperClean.jpg