Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Blickenderfer has Arrived

It showed up in the mail on Friday. I was able to open it then, but there was so much going on Friday that I wasn't able to take pictures until this morning. So without further exposition...

It's in fair condition. The protective wooden case is rough and in desperate need of care. I pressed a few keytops and, unfortunately, all the keys stuck. I've been able to loosen then up thanks to a lot of penetrating oil and a little patience. Now, the typeball does rotate to the correct position when a key is pressed, but it returns very sluggishly. I've taken the mechanism apart (it is very easy to do) and I am fairly confident that a century of grease and dirt is making the return motion slow. Regardless of these faults, the machine is fascinating. The motion of the the two geared horns that move the wheel into place for striking on the paper is poetry. 

It does need some surface cleaning, but I am unsure of the crested badge. What did it look like to start? I cannot imagine that it came from the factory looking sooty and dirty. However, I am afraid to clean it to a point where it looks completely different from other Blicks. These types of machines vary wildly in condition. Some are pristine and others are junky. The only common denominator is that there is no consensus I can deduce on the original look of this badge. Part of me wants to just shine the heck out of it and get it glowing with a silver luster. I'll ask for suggestions from the TYPEWRITER email list. 

I was able to get some typing done on it, but the combination of the dirty movement and the different key layout makes it nearly incomprehensible. 

In the next couple of weeks I would like to get this machine into running shape. I don't think it will take too much effort. Regardless, I am excited to have my first 100-year-old machine in my collection.

P.S. Where do you find the serial number on this typewriter?

1 comment:

  1. Great! I bet your students will be amazed.

    The serial number should be on the right rear corner. Hold down the spacebar to move the carriage to the left so you can see it.

    Probably cleaning, lubrication with something like PB Blaster, and use will get the typewheel moving properly. Note that you can also adjust the tension on the spring that returns the wheel to its original position, although it shouldn't be necessary to put it at high tension.

    I believe some, though not all, #7's had the "tiger stripe" look on the nameplate -- so that combination of copper and black is original. Don't use an abrasive on it, just Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish or a silver polish, and see what happens.