In 1891, George Blickensderfer invented a small portable writing machine that featured the ability to change the type styles at will. This unique design formed the basis of a typewriter manufacturing business that lasted almost 30 years!
Source: The Virtual Typewriter Museum
The Blickensderfer No. 7 saw its first production date in 1897 and became the deluxe version of the basic design. The No. 7 model was superseded in 1908 by the No. 8 model. Our Blickensderfer is a 1901 No. 7 with a DHIATENSOR or “Scientific” keyboard design. This keyboard design was believed to be more efficient than the QWERTY keyboard. Later, Blickensderfer produced typewriters with a QWERTY keyboard and so buyers of this device were required to sign a form stating that the buyer knows he chooses the inefficient keyboard type.
The Blickensderfer was a very popular typewriter in the early days, weighing only 5 pounds compared with a Remington of the same era that weighed 45 pounds. The most appealing advantage to the Blickensderfer was the cost of only $39.00 while a Remington cost $100.00, that’s more than it would cost to buy a new buggy!
Back in 2017 our staff wrote a new post each week about a different artifact from our Museum collection. We no longer keep up this tradition as we have moved on to other projects, but we have left them on our site for interest's sake. Enjoy this sneak peek of our Museum and make sure to stop on by to see more!