Bill Jackson Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Bill Jackson Papers
Call Number: MS 98-07
Size: 7.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Bill Jackson, 1996
Processed by: KE, 4-6-1998; JEF, 8-16-1999; JLY, 8-2007; MN, 12-2015
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Bill Jackson Papers contain examples of his works at McCormick-Armstrong and the Four Ducks Press, plus works of his associates and friends including Robert Aitchison, Judy Anderson, Raymond DaBoll, Father Edward Catich, and Max Schaible. There is also business and personal correspondence about the projects on which Jackson and his associates worked.


"Rube Rubricator," as he called himself, Bill Jackson was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma on July 14, 1917 to Bert and Beaula Hodge Bailey Jackson. To learn drawing, he attended the Kansas City Art Institute. His marriage to Elinor Wolf on November 21, 1941, produced two children, Mike and Doug. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy Reserve as a chief in the Seabees from 1942 to 1945.

As with other young people of his age, trying to find a job during the Depression proved to be difficult. Ted Hawkins, who ran his own business in Oklahoma City, hired the young Bill Jackson at a meager pay of $4.00 a week. Upon learning about employment opportunities at McCormick-Armstrong of Wichita, Kansas, Hawkins got jobs there for both himself and Bill Jackson. Jackson hired on at McCormick-Armstrong as a staff artist, producing cartoons and lettering, but quickly worked his way up to Assistant Art Director. When the company decided to add a typographic design department, Bill Jackson became its head.

Jackson also worked at Wichita State University's Office of Information and Public Events. There he helped design university publications, such as the alumni newsletter, illustrated and hand-lettered articles. One day a week, for three hours, he taught a class in graphic design. In 1982, he retired from Wichita State University.

His interest in typography extended beyond work. As a hobby, he started up his own private printing establishment at his home. "Four Ducks Press," so named because of its address at 2222 Rivera, was installed in a converted garage next to his house and a shop for machinery in West Wichita. Jackson used his private press to create cards and booklets for fellow printing enthusiasts and friends. He took charge of every step of the creation process of these booklets (like Aesop's Fables, Aitch and Max) from writing the text, setting the type, doing the illustrations, running the presses, to trimming and binding the finished product. A section, "Miniature Folio of Private Press," of the London-based magazine, Book, Design and Production, exampled the works of private presses in Europe and the United States. "Four Ducks Press" was one of the thirty presses featured in this magazine.

Being featured in this magazine was far from the only acknowledgment given to Bill Jackson for his work. He received over 70 awards in graphic design, not to mention the awards Wichita State University got for publications he designed, including the Best of Show Award, and the Kansas City Art Directors Club Show's Design Award in 1960. His works were displayed in shows throughout the Midwest such as the American Institute of Graphics Arts Show, "Printing for Fun." Plus he designed displays for private press shows like "Kansas in Maps," "Kansas, a Historical Survey," and "Kansas in Newspapers." Both his work and memberships in the Bibliophiles of Wichita, Kansas; American Institute of Graphic Arts, Art Directors Club of Kansas City, and Advertising Artists Association show his love of design, illustration, and calligraphy.

Bill Jackson died September 30, 2003 in Wichita.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-37 Works by Bill Jackson. This series has examples of Jackson's work as a graphic artist in the 1950s, for McCormick-Armstrong Company of Wichita, Kansas, as an independent, and as an author.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 38-Box 2 FF 4 Works by Others. This series has examples of the works, correspondence, and memorabilia of Jackson's friends and associates including Judy Anderson, Raymond DaBoll, Fr. Edward Catich and Max Schaible.
Series 3 Box 2 FF 5-10 Correspondence. This series includes business correspondence from 1956 to 1996 and personal correspondence from 1955 to 1997. Also has correspondence with Judy Anderson, Raymond DaBoll, Fr. Edward Catich, and Max Schaible.
Series 4 Box 2 FF 11-Box 3 FF 6 Personal Records. This series contains photographs, invitations, legal documents, awards, notes, and ephemera.
Series 5 Box 3 FF 7-13 Miscellaneous. This series contains works done by other people; a brief biography of Robert C. Wiest; articles about Bill Jackson, his friends and associates, and McCormick-Armstrong Company; a few materials about printing; and postcards.
Series 6 Box 4, Oversized Storage Oversized. This series contains Four Ducks Press annual reports for 1965 and 1969. Also included are miscellaneous oversized items such as oversized graphic works, pamphlets, and drawings.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Works by Bill Jackson

Box 1 FF 1 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Drawings, some with captions; sketches; an example of Toad typeface; and the 1955 Ben Franklin dinner program.
Box 1 FF 2 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Advertisements and brochures for Bankers Loans of Kansas City, Kansas; Conoco; The Credit Bureau, Office of Small Business, Washington, D.C.; the Kansas Legal Control Council (association to end prohibition in Kansas) of Wichita, Kansas; Fourth National Bank of Wichita, Kansas; H. C. Price Company; George Innes Company of Wichita, Kansas; the Lithographic Technical Foundation of New York City; Medical Credits of Washington, D.C.; Whitney Paper Company of Wichita, Kansas; and a menu.
Box 1 FF 3 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Brochures for Phillips 66 gas station owners.
Box 1 FF 4 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Graphics of progress reports for National Park Service, Department of Interior of Washington, D.C.; Plastic Sales Division of Phillips 66 Chemical Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. 1956; and Farm and Home Loan Association of Nevada, Missouri.
Box 1 FF 5 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Graphics of annual reports for Carter Oil Company, 1952; Kansas Power and Light Company, 1953, 1954, 1957; Union Gas System, 1955; McCormick-Armstrong Company, 1959; and Menninger Foundation 1964/1965, 1965/1966, 1966/1967.
Box 1 FF 6 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Booklets, Chitchat with Reddy Kilowatt and Thars Cold in Them Thar Cars.
Box 1 FF 7 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Photocopies of newspaper advertisements for Fourth National Bank, Wolfe Electric, and Kansas Power and Light Company.
Box 1 FF 8 Examples of work in the 1950s -- Notes by Bill Jackson about the creation of "Reddy Kilowatt" campaign for Kansas Power and Light, the work he did on the campaign to change Kansas drinking laws, and as "Rube Rubricator."
Box 1 FF 9 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Graphics.
Box 1 FF 10 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Advertising for McCormick-Armstrong.
Box 1 FF 11 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Small (9 inch x 3.75 inch) monthly calendars. May, June, October 1949; May 1952; January, February, April, June, October 1953; January-December 1954.
Box 1 FF 12 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Small (9 inch x 3.75 inch) monthly calendars. January-December 1955 (each month shows a different type of script); March 1956; January December 1957; February, April, May 1958.
Box 1 FF 13 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Small (6 inch x 5.5 inch) monthly calendars. January-December 1959.
Box 1 FF 14 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Partial issues, and photocopies, of Alibi for November 1955 and March 1956. (Note: The Alibi was the McCormick-Armstrong employee newsletter.)
Box 1 FF 15 Examples of work at McCormick-Armstrong -- Alibi booklet by B. Jackson with illustrations from newsletter. (Note: See also Oversized series.)
Box 1 FF 16 Typewritten reminiscences about McCormick-Armstrong and the people there.
Box 1 FF 17 Four Ducks Press -- Graphics and drawings.
Box 1 FF 18 Four Ducks Press -- Booklets produced by the Four Ducks Press and one about it.
Box 1 FF 19 Four Ducks Press -- Annual reports of the Four Ducks Press for 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969. (Note: See also Oversized series.)
Box 1 FF 20 Four Ducks Press -- Invoices
Box 1 FF 21 Booklet -- Excerpt from "Bill Jackson's Calligraphic Autobiography."
Box 1 FF 22 Aitch, book about Aitchison, 1992 -- Demonstration copy of Aitch, minus pages 1-7, 17-18
Box 1 FF 23 Aitch -- Copies of title page; copies of pages 1, 2, 7, 8; copy of pages 3-6; copies of pages 9, 10, 15, 16; and copies of pages 21-24.
Box 1 FF 24 Aitch -- Copies of pages 19, 20, 25, 26; copies of pages 27, 28; and copies of pages 31-34.
Box 1 FF 25 Aitch -- Typewritten rough drafts of book.
Box 1 FF 26 Aitch -- Handwritten rough drafts of book.
Box 1 FF 27 Aitch -- Notes for book.
Box 1 FF 28 Aitch -- Practice graphics for title.
Box 1 FF 29 Aitch -- Photocopies of rough drafts of book.
Box 1 FF 30 Aitch -- Photocopies of notes for book.
Box 1 FF 31 Aitchison miscellaneous -- Copy of speech made by Eric Engstrom at presentation of Aitchison bust by Bill Jackson; pamphlets for paper on Aitchison by Bill Jackson; linocuts of Aitchison by Bill Jackson; photocopy of paragraph about Aitchison.
Box 1 FF 32 Max -- Book about Max Schaible by Judy Anderson and Bill Jackson, 1982. Demonstration copy of Max.
Box 1 FF 33 Max -- Rough draft demonstration of book cover, rough draft illustrations of book layout, and rough drafts of book copy.
Box 1 FF 34 Max -- Photocopies of rough drafts of book copy.
Box 1 FF 35 Indulgences -- Booklet by Judy Anderson and Bill Jackson. Acknowledgment page.
Box 1 FF 36 Presenting -- Pamphlet from Bill Jackson's ephemera; Seed Corn xxxii by the Molehill Press -- Pamphlet. Bill Jackson was the rubricator. Drawing.
Box 1 FF 37 Handwritten notes, and photocopy, about book illustration.

Series 2 ‒ Works by Others

Box 1 FF 38 Express booklet.
Box 1 FF 39 Graphic Doves -- nine, Small Change booklet designed by Judy Anderson, rough draft sheet of humorous poems, articles and notes about the 1982 Governor's Award for Excellence in Arts. Award was book of poems, Shadow-Light by Judy Anderson and Joseph Hutchinson, and November 1982 issue of Muse newspaper, designer Judy Anderson.
Box 1 FF 40 Miscellaneous -- Name card, sample of permanent acrylic adhesive, paragraph about artists by Gyorgy Kepes, registration form for 1983 Arts Congress, program from Western States Arts Foundation, program, bookmark from 1984 Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Art, and typewritten sheet by Bill Jackson about Judy Anderson.
Box 1 FF 41 Correspondence -- Letters and notes from. Judy Anderson.
Box 1 FF 42 Recollections of the Lyceum and Chautauqua Circuits, book by Irene Briggs DaBoll and Raymond F. DaBoll, book jacket, two pamphlets about the book, pamphlet listing new book titles, and photocopies of reviews about the book.
Box 1 FF 43 Broadsides and pamphlets from the Raymond F. DaBoll Studios in Newark, Arkansas and Chicago, advertising pamphlet for the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan, letterhead sheet for International Chemical Company, excerpts from The Bhadgavad Gita," commentary and two examples of calligraphy by DaBoll, front cover page from "Italic Hands 1523-1963" by DaBoll, pamphlet about book Calligraphy and Handwriting in America, title page done by DaBoll, article, and photocopy, for Committee for Italic Handwriting Newsletter, 1961/1962, by DaBoll.
Box 1 FF 44 Poem about DaBoll, written in various script, with note from Rick attached. Photocopies. Rough draft, and photocopy, for" article about DaBoll.
Box 1 FF 45 Correspondence -- Letters and cards from DaBoll.
Box 1 FF 46 Photographs of building signs at Wichita State University campus, Wichita, Kansas, designed by Father Edward M. Catich.
Box 1 FF 47 Roughings and photocopies of signs designed by Father Catich.
Box 1 FF 48 Photocopy of article written by Father Catich, pamphlet with speech given by Father Catich, article in Letter Arts Review magazine, 1996, about signs at Wichita State University designed by Father Catich, and a copy of the cover and article of that magazine.
Box 1 FF 49 Memorial keepsake of Father Catich by Clark Britton and Bill Jackson and brochure about the Catich Gallery.
Box 1 FF 50 Correspondence -- Invoice for McKnight Art Center and Ulrich Museum of Art signs and letters to and from Max.
Box 2 FF 1 Memorabilia from the Groundhog Press.
Box 2 FF 2 Photocopied handwritten brief autobiography of Max Schaible, The Story of My Life, minus pages 3 and 27, typewritten reminiscence of Max Schaible by Bill Jackson, and paper with Four Ducks Press letterhead saying "Early Max."
Box 2 FF 3 Programs for memorial ceremony for Max Schaible, February 2, 1990; photocopies of obituaries, January 15, 1990; and cassette tapes of memorial service.
Box 2 FF 4 Correspondence -- Sympathy letters to Barbara Schaible, January 1990.

Series 3 ‒ Correspondence

Box 2 FF 5 Business correspondence from January 17, 1955 to October 25, 1996 from Hermann Zapf, Raymond F. DaBoll, Paul A. Bennett, Phil Metzger and many others.
Box 2 FF 6 Correspondence with Judy Anderson -- Notes and letters from Judy Anderson about their work on the "Jubilee" book projects, Indulgences and Max; open letter from Judy Anderson and Bill Jackson to friends of Max Schaible asking them to contribute anecdotes for a book about him; congratulatory letters from Judy Anderson to Bill Jackson; letters discussing the projects Judy Anderson is working on; one letter asking Bill Jackson for advice. Included in one of the cards are three little drawings; and holiday greetings and get well wishes.
Box 2 FF 7 Correspondence with Raymond DaBoll -- Letters from DaBoll thanking and/or admiring works of Jackson that have been sent to him; letter declining opportunity to give speech on calligraphy; letter agreeing to interview about his work as calligrapher; and holiday greetings.
Box 2 FF 8 Correspondence with Father Catich and others concerning Catich -- Letters discussing slate signs for buildings at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas; letters discussing other work projects; slate sign for the Four Ducks Press, plaques, and booklet; thank you letter for brochures; letters about workshops which Father Catich will give; and holiday greetings requests and thank yous for Catich related publications.
Box 2 FF 9 Correspondence with Max Schaible -- Personal letters from Max Schaible which talk about Bill Jackson's book Cat-A-Log, UCDA meetings, Milton Glasser's show, and meeting with Hermann Zapf; letter and postcard about Bill Jackson contacting Willoughby-Beresford concerning a booklet; and birthday and Christmas cards.
Box 2 FF 10 Personal correspondence of Bill Jackson from June 5, 1955 to January 13, 1997 -- Letters about the upcoming book on Aitchison; admiring letter about the works of the Four Ducks Press; thank you letters; sympathy letter from Sue Wilson on death of Max Schaible; letter from John Bennet Shaw about Wichita Bibliophile gathering; letter from Fridoff Johnson about a new society; letter to Sue Hatfield from Roetzel Jochems; holiday greetings (three from Hermann Zapf); and cards from companies.

Series 4 ‒ Personal Records

Box 2 FF 11 Invitations
Box 2 FF 12 Photographs of Bill Jackson
Box 2 FF 13 Photographs of Robert Aitchison, Father Catich, Judy Anderson, Max Schaible and a drawing of Raymond DaBoll.
Box 2 FF 14 Photographs of bust and painting of Aitchison, monthly calendars of the McCormick-Armstrong Company.
Box 2 FF 15 Miscellaneous photographs of different persons, and of a cat and a dog.
Box 3 FF 1 Personal records of B. Jackson -- Subpoena from the State of Kansas, 1970, Bibliophiles v. Indo China Policy; legal document February 12, 1975 in which Wichita State University purchases maps and books from the M. Aitchison estate; and letter from Jochems, Sargent and Blaes, January 13, 1984.
Box 3 FF 2 Awards presented to Bill Jackson at the Four Ducks Press.
Box 3 FF 3 Awards to Bill Jackson and Judy Anderson.
Box 3 FF 4 Awards to McCormick-Armstrong, and to Bill Jackson at Wichita State University.
Box 3 FF 5 Photocopied notes about the "hot stamp" incident and typewritten note about awards he has received.
Box 3 FF 6 Ephemera -- Army patches, New Year's gift from J. Anderson, and two printing typesets.

Series 5 ‒ Miscellaneous

Box 3 FF 7 Roster of Wichita Bibliophiles; manuscript and photocopy of Through Britain and Italy by Bibliobus or Europe Viewed Through Kaleidoscope Rather Than Camera by Robert Vosper; photocopied article of The Insel Publishing House; a Short Introduction to Bibliophily by Dr. Georg Kurt Schauer, and photocopied list of Insel books.
Box 3 FF 8 Book, Thrilling Tales of Kansas by Ernest Warden, printed by Wichita Eagle Press, 1932.
Box 3 FF 9 Announcement of A Third Book of Pressmarks printed by James Lamar Weygand; The Amateur Press Club leaflet by Violet Marr Simpson; The Jayhawk Journal, Winter 1964-65; booklet by Violet Marr Simpson; and reprinted woodcut by Hershel C. Logan.
Box 3 FF 10 Brief typewritten biography of Robert C. Wiest, August 29, 1975.
Box 3 FF 11 Newspaper and magazine articles, usually photocopied, about Bill Jackson, Arnold Bank, Sister Mary Hillary, Hermann Zapf, Jim Yarnell, R. Aitchison, Harry Kurdian, and McCormick-Armstrong Company.
Box 3 FF 12 Leaflet about Henry Evans, printmaker, pamphlet about Johannes Gutenberg, in English, German and French, and photocopied partial article of History of the Printing Press.
Box 3 FF 13 Postcards with reproductions of painting masterpieces.

Series 6 ‒ Oversized

Box 4 FF 1 Four Duck Press annual report for 1965.
Box 4 FF 2 Four Duck Press annual report for 1969.
Oversized Storage Booklet with printings of proof-blocks made by Father Catich. Pamphlet, The Printed Word and Books: Fifty Centuries of Development in Paper, Printing, and Education given to Bill Jackson by Raymond DaBoll. Sheet of graphics used in the book Aitch. (Note: Two of these graphics are copies of wood block prints by Robert Aitchison. These wood blocks can be found in the Robert Aitchison Papers, MS 98-05.) Drawing by Bill Jackson of McCormick-Armstrong Company.