1901 Blickensderfer No. 5

Like a lot of collectors, I’ve wanted a Blickensderfer 5 in my collection for quite some time. Sure, there’s always a few on Ebay, but those prices are pretty high. To my surprise, one appeared locally.

The seller, like all sellers, based his price on Ebay. This machine, however, is missing three keys. Since this is my first encounter with this model, I have little idea what else is missing. I talked the seller to half his originally price. Now, I’ve always wanted a nineteenth century machine. It turns out that this isn’t one. That said, it has good paint and the typing wheel works very well. I have no idea what makes the carriage advance. These have no spring coil? There must be some sort of draw string. Unfortunately, it is hard to find images of the back of the machine. Another thing I noticed os that what I presume is the carriage release lever has been attached incorrectly.

It appears that this is an easy fix. Unscrew the bell and insert the lever correctly. I also seem to be missing a paper guide in the back, but a reshaped coat hanger might do the job. Lastly, thanks to the Typosphere, I’ll be able to get the D, H, and S keys from a parts machine. Here are some shots of the sides, back, and serial.

Here are some photos after an initial cleaning. I used Star Glow for polish (Starglowusa.com).

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill M says:

    Congratulations on your find! I’ve yet to find any Blickensderfer at a price I wanted to pay. Maybe one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      It still cost two bills, but I had some money from selling a Royal. I miss the days when I could find a great typewriter for under $40.


  2. Richard P says:

    There’s a spring that advances the carriage, but it’s on the bottom and runs front to back. You can adjust its tightness. Every depression of the spacebar or a key extends the spring, and then it pushes the carriage forward when it contracts. I think it is a unique system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mcfeats says:

      Ahh. I see. It is moving. A good, even cleaning is especially important now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Blick No.06 says:

    Sweet find! I always wanted a Blickensderfer as well and paid up for a No. 6 last week. It’s my first, and likely only typewriter, so I’m a complete newb. I’m stoked to see your progress and follow your lead!!! Thanks for chronicling the restoration! What do you recommend in terms of lubrication? WD-40? And should I just give a light coating to most (all) of the metal parts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Congrats on the Blick! Good question. One of the first lessons every collector encounters is that WD-40 is a bad idea. It eventually gunks up the machine. Best advice: a CLEAN machine is a smoothly working machine. Apply mineral spirits to to metal parts. Use a brass brillo pad on metal, too (but not to the painted body). Lots of good YouTube videos out there. Facebook has a great typewriter maintenance group. It is the only thing I miss about FB.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Blick No.06 says:

    Phew! Thank you, disaster averted. Glad I didn’t just bathe my Blick in WD-40. Yeah, that group is great. Just to remind you of the wise decision to exit Facebook: I posted on the FB typewriter group and suddenly my comment started popping up on randomly on my friend’s feeds, which is super annoying and intrusive. Did I ask FB to broadcast what I wrote to everyone?! NO.

    Liked by 1 person

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