Blickensderfer Typewriter No. 5
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A portable manual typewriter (in original carrying case), 'Blickensderfer No. 5 Stamford Conn. U.S.A.' Ideal keyboard, with type-wheel, black keys with white letters. No. 58627. George C. Blickensderfer (1851-1917) built the prototype for the first lightweight portable typewriter, the Blickensderfer No.5, in 1889. The first commercial model of the No. 5 was produced in his factory in Stamford, Connecticut in 1893. That same year, the typewriter made its public debut at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. A practical machine of proven durability, the Blickensderfer No.5 was sold and used in countries all over the world. 'Blicks,' the name by which the machines came to be known, had interchangeable type-wheels. Over one hundred different keyboards were available. This interchangeable type-wheel accounted for a major part of the Blickensderfer's popularity in so many countries. Blickensderfer's first portable machine used the Ideal keyboard, but later changed to the more popular Qwerty layout. The Ideal keyboard was laid out in following fashion. The top row read: Z,X,K,G,B,V,Q,J; the middle row read: P,W,F,U,L,C,M,Y; and the bottom row read: D,H,I,A,T,E,N,O,R. This keyboard design failed commercially, so Blickensderfer changed his typewriters to the more popular Qwerty keyboard. Contemporary typewriters and computer keyboards still use the Qwerty key configuration. The name Qwerty is derived from the first six letters in the top alphabet row on the keyboard. Christopher Sholes (1819-1890) designed the Qwerty system in 1868. Sholes' original typewriter keyboards were arranged alphabetically. The flaws in this keyboard layout became obvious as adept typists would jam the keys when these keys were struck in quick succession. So after much experimentation, Sholes placed the keys used most often as far apart as he could. How we learn about communities; Exploring The Columbian Exposition 16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society
|Blickensderfer, George C., 1851-1917, Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
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