by | Apr 9, 2011 | Blickensderfer | 11 comments

Sorry about the quality of this typecast. Long story … but I think it’s legible!

I finally realized the purpose of this little hook on the corner of the Blick: it can hold down a key lever, bringing the typewheel safely down for storage and allowing the typewriter to fit into an even smaller space. Ain’t it clever?


  1. Anonymous

    So cool with that shiny aluminum body, it looks like some kind of crazy bearded toaster, but it cooks WORDS!

  2. notagain

    that is so pretty, with the curves in the keys there

  3. Ted

    Wowser. very attractive Blick (:

    Bill has a couple of Blicks at MTE, but I'd be afraid to try to type on them. they look so utterly *fragile*. I couldn't figure out if the typeballs were made out of balsa wood or some thin, lightweight bakelite. Are they aluminum painted dark brown or something?

  4. Richard P

    The typewheels are vulcanite (hard rubber). Pretty tough, although they could of course be broken if hit hard.

    When trying a Blick, make sure there is an ink roller installed, or the ink roller arm is moved out of the way, so the typewheel won't hit the empty metal arm — that couldn't be good for it.

    Of course, many Blicks are frozen up and won't do anything at all. But it's possible to free up the mechanism usually with the right cleaning and lubrication.

  5. Ted

    wow, hard rubber? I'll have to tell him that. I can't say I've delved much into pre-war machines as a casual collector simply because of practicality & economy, but I do find them fascinating mechanically.

  6. Adwoa

    How charming! I found it particularly hilarious to follow your struggle to keep the letters aligned, and then when it all spiraled into a mess of characters and exclamation points near the end, I thought that was a series of creatively-rendered curse words! But then you collected yourself, soldiered on, and finished the essay.

    Looking forward to the next one!

  7. rn

    Swell post about a machine with some serious swagger. You mention that you have to push the keys all the way down, and that the staccato stabbing that is typical on typebar machines won't work. I wonder: is there any variation in action? Does the strength of the ink transfer change if you tap the keys with more force? Does the wheel spin more rapidly if you type in a particular manner?

  8. MTCoalhopper

    I was just thinking that, if I ever found a Blick, I would probably use it for one blog post. Then, I would shine it up and put it in a glass case where I could marvel at it (and not have to dust its intricate mechanism) anytime.

    The first blog I check, and here you are with a Blick-generated post. Now I know what it types like, what the element is made of, and that the visibility is a problem. Thank you, Professor, for today's very inforamtive lesson.

  9. Duffy Moon

    With all the typing-in-cars popping up in the typosphere, how about this:
    Instead of finding a cool case for it, turn you car's glove box into a case. It can fold out like a sort of murphy bed. Coolest after-market option EVAR.

  10. David 9.ai

    I really admire your talent and capacity to make such a typewriter work! I am much more limited in terms of what I can do to fix / reshape old typewriters so I try to stick to the lazy option of buying something in good conditions (albeit it doesn't always work this way as some sellers tend to be over optimistic) or stick to the 60-70's ones. Thanks for the great lesson and thanks again for your amazing fonts :)

  11. Richard P

    rn: If you push the keys down faster, the wheel spins faster and you hit the platen with more force. It does make a difference to the clarity of the printing. But if you overdo it, it can create a double image. Very little strength is required for a good impression, but you do have to follow through and depress the keys all the way.


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