The Block leveller was created by Horace W Hacker. His patent filled in 1924. Its use, milling stock to type high .918″. Produced by his firm, Hacker Manufacturing, (Horace Hacker Co) they were bought out in 1937 by Vandercook & Sons. The rebadged Hacker, was named the Vandercook Block leveller and its design was then licensed out to F.A.G for the European market.
The Block Leveller is powered by a two-motor system that operates on three-phase power. One motor spins the bed, while the other drives the planer head. The planer head to follows one spiral path, terminating at the axis of the bed. Another spiral path commences at the edge of the bed, its convolutions intervening between the convolutions of the first spiral path. The planer blades follows the second spiral path, cleaning up the chatter left behind from its first spiral path. This innovative system allowed for a more efficient and precise milling process, which is why the machines became a staple in the printing industry. Hundreds of these machines were made over the years. However, after the commercial decline of letterpress, most of them were discarded, with very few surviving examples known left today.
Database Of Levellers
New in 1962 it cost £2805. The price of the average house in the uk.
At todays rate £48,195. The cost of a typical UK home in 2023 £281,272
There are currently thirteen known to have survived, ten of them in the United States. Two Polytypes, in Europe. If you know of any hiding please drop a message.
|1||F.A.G – BL.45||3207016||Tribune Showprint – USA, Muncie, Indiana|
|2||Vandercook – 11||15006||Gurzopress – USA, New Jersey|
|3||TBC (Broken)||TBC||Letterpress Depot – USA, Colorado|
|4||TBC||TBC||The International Printing Museum – USA, California|
|5||Vandercook – 11||18590||Virgin Wood Type – USA, Rochester|
|6||Hacker (modified)||16894||Moore Wood Type – USA, Ohio|
|7||Vandercook – 11||TBC||The Red Door Press – USA, Iowa|
|8||Unknown||Unknown||(Private) USA, Cincinnati|
|9||Unknown||Unknown||(Private) USA, NYC|
|10||Vandercook – 11 (XL)||Lost||Tivoli Press – UK, Gloucestershire|
|11||F.A.G||TBC||Tiporenesansa – Slovenia|
|12||Vandercook – 10||9862||J Finch (Machinist) – USA|
|1||Polytype PF 63||5021||Baby Ink Twice, Switzerland|
|2||Polytype V72||11306||Museum Der Arbeit, Germany, Hamburg|
|3||Polytype||TBC||Bland Typer & Tryck|
The Polytype PF 63 does not have a powered bed like the Hacker design. It does have a vacuum connected to the planner head.
|Replaceable Parts:||Item number||Description|
|Drive Belt||AX63||Cogged V Belt|