DesignerGeorge Canfield Blickensderfer
DimensionsW: 300mm H: 130mm D: 275mm
RelationshipsThe Three Phases Of Adoption
The Blickensderfer 6 was among the first truly portable typewriters. Many of the larger metal components were made of aluminium, which combined strength and lightness. The absence of any casing around the mechanism creates a skeletal form and gives the Blickensderfer a visual lightness.
George Blickensderfer (1850 – 1917) designed a cylindrical wheel with the characters embossed on it to replace the then commonly used mechanism with individual bars connected to the keys. This drastically reduced the number of parts required for the mechanism. All these elements combined to make the Blickensderfer lighter, smaller and cheaper than other typewriters, which helped its commercial success.
The typewriter had a full keyboard in the DHIATENSOR arrangement, originally designed by James Bartlett Hammond allowing the user keep their hands on the one row, minimising finger movements thus increasing efficiency. Blickensderfer’s cylindrical wheel is similar to the golf ball mechanism later employed by IBM for the Selectric typewriter in 1961.