MsC 809

Collection Dates: 1955 -- 1995
3 linear ft.

Collection Guide

This document describes a Manuscript Collection held by the

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries

Guide Contents

Administrative Information

Biographical and Historical Information

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Related Materials

Acquisition and Processing Information

Box Contents List

Administrative Information

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

Bill Jackson was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma on July 14, 1917. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute to learn drawing, where he took classes in painting with Thomas Hart Benton. He was working for Ted Hawkins in Oklahoma City when Hawkins heard about jobs at McCormick-Armstrong in Wichita, Kansas and got jobs for both of them. During World War II Jackson served in the United States Navy Reserve as a chief in the Seabees from 1942 to 1945. He married Elinor Wolf on November 21, 1941. They had two sons, Mike and Doug.

At McCormick-Armstrong Jackson worked as a staff artist and worked his up through the ranks to assistant director, ending by becoming the head of their typographical design department. He also worked at Wichita State University, designing some of their publications. He retired from Wichita State in 1982.

His interest in printing extended into his private life, and he started two private presses in his home and other locations in Wichita: the Four Ducks Press and the Groundhog Press. The Four Ducks name, quoting from Jackson himself "is from its geographical location: 2222 (i.e. four ducks in poker parlance) Rivera in Wichita, Kansas, USA." (Four Ducks Press, n.d.) His first publication from Four Ducks Press was Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, the story of Little Red Riding Hood told in other, but similar sounding words, written by H. L. Chace in 1940. This little book sets the tenor of the press, for most of his material is light-hearted and amusing, but serious in its pursuit of excellence.

Bill Jackson died September 30, 2003.

Jacque Roethler 2005

Scope and Contents

This collection is made up of the products of the printing life of Bill Jackson, including works from the Four Ducks Press as well as the Groundhog Press. Included are books, pamphlets, booklets, and brochures produced on letter press printers and linotypes, most with linoleum cuts by Jackson. Some contain calligraphy by Jackson. Most are bound by Jackson as well.

Photographs: Box 2

Related Materials

Bill Jackson Papers at Wichita State University

Acquisition and Processing Information

Guide posted to Internet: September 2005

Box Contents List

Box 1

Publications of the Four Ducks Press

11 x 11 from A to Z at the 4DP

APA 615


And Thus It Came To Pass That the Child Was Named . . .

Annual Report. The Four Ducks Press



1962. Two copies

1966 (The "High-on-the-Hog" Report)

The Ballad of Yukon Jake by Edward E. Paramore, Jr.

Bear This In Mind

The Behavior and Confession of William Disney, Esq.

Bill Jackson Had an Auto

Bill Jackson's Bibliographical Decameron

Bill Jackson's Calligraphic Autobiography

Bill "Vicious " Krause

Book Collection and the Search for Reality by Jack Matthews

Bygones by Ann Willoughby

Cat A Log

The Cats at the Printing House at the Sign of the Four Ducks. One with a slipcase

The Fabulous Iron Collection at the Printing House at the Sign of the Four Ducks

The Four Ducks Press

The Four Duck Press Forbal

From the London Evening News. From Jim Stewart, as a keepsake for the Arthur Machen Society

Half a Self Portrait by Wallis Menozzi

Harry Kurdian Reads a Paper to the Bibliophiles of Wichita on the Book Collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty

Indulgences. Miniature accordion book

The Iron Collection at the Four Ducks Press

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut




Love Defined



Box 2 Publications, cont.

Michelle, Toto & The Girls (cover only)

Milton Glaser, Max Schaible

The Model Five Linotype & the Four Ducks Press

My Life With Types

The National Library of Mexico by Senor Jovita Zubaran

A Newly Printed Treatise on the Type Catalog

A Note on Poetry by Arthur Machen. In three different bindings

"Oh, You're That Bastard That Does Those Books"

One Hundred Herbals

The Other Day I Was Shooting Pool with Fran Kentling. . .

"Our Lifes are Frittered Away with Details. . ."

The Pain and Suffering Explained by Bill Jackson Connected with His Most Recent Operation. Original calligraphy and watercolors

The Peabody Printing Museum

The R. T. Aitchison Collection of Old & Rare Books. Special Collections, Wichita State University

The R. T. Aitchison Collection of Vergil's Works at the University of Kansas Library

Ray Da Boll

Some Grand Old Men. One copy with a slip case, one with a dust jacket

Some Reminiscences by Harry Kurdian


Susan Kraft Died December 1, 1985

Those Golding Oldies at the Four Duck Press. In two different bindings

A True Story of the Revolting and Bloody Crimes of Sergeant Stanlas, U.S.A. Together with His Court-Martial and Execution, by Manly Wade and sent to the Bibliophiles Club of Wichita as a compensation for his not being able to attend the meeting. Includes a note from Wade about this; a booklet stapled in the center explaining this. Printed by Bill Jackson

A Type Book

WR (William Ransom)

The Young Lady From Niger

Publications of the Groundhog Press

Annual Report


Bill Jackson, Prop., The Groundhog Press, Sings His Swan Song

The Groundhog Press Portfolio of Portraits Proprietors of Prestigious Private Presses

Groundhog Press Outstanding Award

The One Great Love of My Life

The other day I was shooting Pool with Fran Kentling. . .

Presses not operated by Bill Jackson

Items from the Oriole Press with clippings about its proprietor, Joseph Ishill

Items from the Pigeonhole Press and correspondence with Ray Dilley, that press's proprietor

Lucky Dog. Creekside Press. Linoleum blocks and cover by Bill Jackson


9 Printers: An Exhibition of the Collected Works of Contemporary American Private Presses. January 18 through February 16, 1970, Wichita Art Association Galleries. The Four Ducks Press is one of the presses featured. Portfolio of 21 photographs from the exhibit.

"The Four Ducks Press (A Private Press Profile)." The Missouri Library Association Quarterly. December 1969. Between pages 324 and 325.

Jackson, Bill. "The Essence of Letters: The Father Catich Slates at Wichita State University." Letter Arts Review, Vol.12:No. 4, 1996

This is the Creative Agency. Brochure for McCormick-Armstrong Agency

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