The Blickensderfer 5 was assembled and sold in France as the Dactyle. The earliest Dactyles were virtually the same as the earliest versions of the Blick 5, indicating that the Blickensderfer company signed an export agreement very early on.
There are several different Dactyles. There are Dactyles without model indication (like the one presented here), that seem to be the earliest machines. Next came the Dactyle 2, that was also identical to the Blick 5.
The Dactyle 3 was the same machine as the Blick 7 and the Dactyle 8 was identical to the Blick 8.
The serial numbers on the different models coincide with the serial numbers on equivalent Blickensderfers, which indicates that the frames of the Dactyles came from the regular production line in the USA and were numbered there.
The machine shown here (serial number 736) shows a number of differences with the later Blick 5 that is shown elsewhere in this museum. Some of the differences are:
- The platen is one cm narrower (the platen rail has the same width)
- The profile of the top section is slightly different (see picture 6)
- There is no platen knob on the left
- There are small metal guide wheels on the paper bail, that do not exist on the Blickensderfer. This may have been a French improvement.
The frame of the Dactyle proudly proclaims that engineer Octave Rochefort was the sole licensee and constructor of the machine for France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland, based on the Blickensderfer patents.
Note the Dactyle logo shield with the hand and the Star of David in picture 5, the origin and meaning of which are currently unknown to us.
Courtesy of: Robert collection