Thursday, April 01, 2010

An Old Pretty Thing - a Blickensderfer Typewriter

(PS, don't forget to visit my 1000th post for the jewelry/bead giveaway!  Just click here!)

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that Rick gifted me with a Kindle for my birthday.   He also gave me a truly unique present to add to my growing collection of antiques and vintage what-nots -- a Blickensderfer No. 7 typewriter patented in 1897.  It is also considered the first portable typewriter, weighing only five pounds.

I don't know what it is about antique typewriters that I love so much.  Maybe it's because I learned to type at age eight and have been burning up the keys since then.  Maybe it's because I like to imagine all the things that have been typed on those keys -- love letters, tearful poems, a great novel.  

This typewriter came in complete working order, and I wanted to type just a few words on it, to see what it was like.  Imagine my confusion when I couldn't find the right letters under my fingers!  

This typewriter was made with a pre-QWERTY keyboard (QWERTY being the one you are used to now) -- letters just aren't where you expect them to be.  Because it operates with a rotating ball system, there are no keys to get jammed, which is why QWERTY was invented in the first place -- typists got so fast they'd jam two neighboring keys together and gum up the works.

ANYWAY.  This is my second antique typewriter (my first being a Remington 10 that would break every bone in your foot if you dropped it) and I'm thrilled with it.

It's truly, to me, a Pretty Thing.

When Lori isn't collecting old things, she's making jewelry for
She also writes the blog "An Artist's Year Off".


  1. It is a pretty thing!! What a lovely gift!!
    I have an antique portable typewriter that used to belong to my great aunt. I need to go look for it in the attic. I have had it for decades and used to use it (pre computer era).

  2. I thought you were making some crack about your age...'cause you aren't old!
    (But you are a pretty thing!)
    That is a delightful find. I love that your husband knew that you would love something like that. We don't exchange gifts much anymore, but I am certain he would have a hard time finding me something as special as this. I find it interesting about the different keys... it would be hard to type if you were used to one way and not the other! Enjoy the day! Erin

  3. I have a passion for old typewriters as well. I love the look of them, to me they are like art. I have 3 old portable Corona's Circa 1914 they nice and small with celluloid keys.

  4. It is cool! We have a guy in our hot shop called typewriter Tim cause of all the old typewriters he buys!

  5. Love the typewriter. I noticed the keys right away! Enjoy your gift.
    Bead Happy!

  6. that typewriter is awesome!!! you are one lucky girl :)

  7. To me....It is a "Cool" thing!

  8. Its rather skeletal, yet still beautiful! The keys are in odd places - that would throw you!

  9. That is an amazing husband! And typewriter !!

  10. What a lovely old typewriter, I got rid of a very old one and although I do have a tiny portable its not as old as that, that is such a neat gift!

  11. Gosh I love it too! I also taught myself to touch type at an early age on my dad's manual typewriter so we have that in common :-) It was so difficult to get up to 50wpm on a manual, I remember being astonished at how easy it was when I first used an electric typewriter about ten years later. I really miss Tippex ...

  12. I remeber learning to type on a dinosaur like this one. They have a certain romatic air about them, don't they?

  13. Lori, what a cool typewriter...I'm not sure if I've ever seen one quite like this one. I'd love to buy an old one too some day...for now I just admire them.

  14. that is one crazy typewriter...beautiful in design..


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