Portable typewriter of the type-wheel class, manufactured by the Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company, of Stamford, Massachusetts, U.S.A. This machine is the Blick Featherweight and is a development of the earlier Model 5 with an aluminium frame. Possibly the lightest portable typewriter ever produced, the Featherweight was marketed as the 'Five Pound Secretary'. The designer of the typewriter was George C. Blickensderfer.
The mechanism of the Featherweight used a rotating typewheel with three rows of characters around its periphery. The typewheel was mounted in front of and above the platen. Pressing a key first rotated the type-wheel to bring the selected character to the printing point and then forced the wheel down and forward against the paper and platen. Ink was applied via a roller against which the type-wheel brushed during its downstroke. The type-wheel could be easily changed to accomodate different character sets.
The Featherweight was supplied with either a QWERTY 'Universal' keyboard or Blickensderfer's 'Scientific' keyboard. On the latter, the front row of keys comprised the letters DHIATENSOR which Blickensderfer claimed made up 70% of the letters used in English. This machine has a 'Scientific' keyboard.
Cast aluminium frame with black rubber cylindrical platen. Typewheel with three rows of characters mounted on pivoted spindle angled upwards above and in front of platen. Inking roller mounted on single arm arching over typewheel. Arm can be folded down on top of platen. Typewheel mechanism covered by aluminium cover. Three-row 'Scientific' keyboard with 28 keys for characters. Additional 'FIG' and 'CAP' keys to left of character keys, 'BACKSPACER' key to right. All keys circular, with black lettering on light background.
Donation from Mrs O'Brien, 03/04/1975
On plate attached to front of type-wheel mechanism cover: 'ALUMINIUM / FEATHERWEIGHT / BLICK / 9 & 10 CHEAPSIDE, LONDON / MADE IN U.S.A.' Serial number engraved on upper surface of right rear frame: '175979'
Type of item
305 mm (Width), 240 mm (Depth), 165 mm (Height)