Blickensderfer 5
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Blickensderfer 5

George C. Blickensderfer introduced his typewriter around 1893 -- and it was a big hit. The Blickensderfer was the first truly portable keyboard typewriter. Its many virtues, in the eyes of its fans, included its interchangeable typewheel, its system of inking from a roller, and its "Scientific" keyboard, designed to be more efficient than Qwerty. (Under pressure, Blickensder also marketed typewriters with a Qwerty or "Universal" keyboard, but the buyer had to sign a release form stating he had been warned that Qwerty was inefficient!)

The #5 was the first model to go on the market; subsequent models, through #9 (1917), refined the basic design in small ways, adding features like a tabulator and a backspace. Blickensderfer was the first company to market an electric typewriter, in 1902.

My own Blick #5 has a Polish keyboard and typewheel. It was probably meant for the Polish-American market.

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