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Robert G. Hacker collection of engraving tools

Identifier: CSC-0036

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of tools used for hand-finishing or retouching metal photo-engraving plates, especially halftone plates, before printing, a routine process employed in the 1890s through the 1950s. The collection includes 44 wood-handled scribe awls, gravers, burnishers, and other tools enclosed in a cloth wrapper outfitted with pockets; a copper and wood plate holder; and a sand-filled leather cushion set in a wood frame, all undated. Also present are a Waterhouse stop, circa 1890 (used for aperture settings in wooden process cameras, since superseded by the iris diaphragm), a pair of glass halftone screen wedges, circa 1940 (used to set distances from screen to film in order to control focus and sharpness), and an undated pamphlet, A chart of screen tints for letterpress engravings, designed by Will Burtin and published by the Photo Engravers Board of Trade of New York.


  • Creation: circa 1890-1940

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical information on Robert G. Hacker

Robert G. Hacker received his PhD from the University of Iowa, and was a professor of newspaper management and computer applications at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.


2.33 Linear Feet (2 boxes)



Physical Location

Cary stacks

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Robert G. Hacker, 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by Cary staff, date unknown. Finding aid created from MARC record by Ella von Holtum, May 2020.


Robert G. Hacker collection of engraving tools
In Progress
Cary Graphic Arts Collection
Ella von Holtum
May 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408