Hacker Test Press?

Has anyone heard of such a press? I saw it the other day when I was at a printers, it is just sitting there gathering dust. I showed some interest in how it works and everyone wondered why I would want to see such a thing in action!

So I guess, does anyone think it would be worth asking to take it off their hands? Is it a good cylinder proofing press? It appears to be completely hand operated.

Thank you in advance,


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Meaghan - It sounds as if you may be describing a Poco or Potter Proof Press. They are simple but good proof presses. This section is still under construction, but you can see photos in the Museum at Briar Press. I believe the presses were originally made by the A.F. Wanner & Co. of Chicago, but sold to the Hacker Company and made by them in the 1920’s.

image: hacker.jpg


On the vandercookpress.info website, there is a little bit of info, and a census showing 5 other owners listed. You might be able to contact one of them to find out whether they are happy with the performance and design of the press, and get an idea of what to look for in buying one.



good luck

The Hacker Presses were indeed very good machines. I once owned a 12x18 Poco, made by Hacker. The quality of impression was every bit as good as a Vandercook. The only two problems I had with it was that it was hand-inked, which made it slow to use, and it printed “in both directions”… which caused me to print on the tympan when I inadvertently returned the bed without any paper on the form. Other than that, I loved the press.

If it were me, I’d seriously consider making them an offer. It’s a sturdy, reliable press that would last you for the rest of your life…. and your kids… and your grandkids…..

I had a Hacker years ago; it was an excellent press , and it did have an inking system. There were variations and I’ve seen them with two and with three form rollers; some had adjustable head stops, but mine didn’t.
It needs a little more muscle to use than does a Vandercook; turning the handle rotates the cylinder and that moves the bed back and forth. With the Vandercook you are just rolling the cylinder. And with the Vandercook, you walk with the cylinder, but with the Hacker you stand in one place while cranking.

Thanks everyone!

I will give the printer a call today and and then I can let you know how I went.
What I did notice about it (and what could be missing) how do you lock in your type? should there be a chase or something there on the bed?

Thanks again,


The Hackers I’ve seen had a fixed headbar and tailbar, screwed in. Maybe they’ve been removed to proof a press-form in the chase. Ask the printers how they used it, and get them to look for any stray parts.

Go ahead and get it if you can. They’re good presses, and easy to sell. I found one in the garage of a printer who had died, bought it, oiled it up, used it for a while, then sold it for $500. I posted the ad here and people from all over the country wanted to buy it.