About The Nocoblick (1910)
The Nocoblick was designed by Ludwig Massen and was in use between 1910 and 1917. The machine was produced by Groyen and Richtmann of Cologne, Germany – the same company that distributed the Blickensderfers in Europe. It allowed musicians to produce scored sheet music, complete with lyrics. It didn’t sell well, and only a few have survived. It had a drawer where the rubber, stamp musical notes were placed.
The musical notes were inserted as needed into a special holder. They were then inked and applied to paper with staff lines. The early Nocoblicks (circa 1910) used preprinted staff paper, but the machines were eventually developed to create staves. Because it was interchangeable between with musical symbols and letters, the typewriter was also used to add the lyrics.
In 1917, George Blickensderfer died. As a result, the type wheel machine was discontinued which meant that the Nocoblick could not be marketed on the other side of the Atlantic. Today, the Nocoblick is a rare find.
How the Nocoblick Works
The machine contained musical symbols on a type wheel. There was a pointer on the left of the typewriter resolved the platen. The position of the platen was determined with a scale which assisted in placing the notes correctly on the staff paper. The typewriter was eventually built on a table and was equipped with three then four pedals. Two pedals controlled the shifts, one stopped the carriage, and one operated the space bar.
A device was also installed to stamp musical symbols that were not included in the type wheel which normally had 84 characters. The typewriter was also capable of drawing staves on blank paper. By changing the type wheel and by moving a lever under the scale to the right, the Nocoblick could also be used as a normal typewriter.
The music was typed onto lithographic transfer paper which could then be used to make a number of copies. The appearance is said to have been in good style and looked very similar in appearance to engraved music.