Question about IBM Correcting Selectric III Electric Typewriter

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How do I unlock the keyboard of IBM Selectric III???

Keyboard seems to be locked. the keys won't depress

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The Selectric typewriter has several "interlocks" that can cause the keyboard to be locked. When you turn the machine off there is a mechanism that locks the keyboard. When you turn it on the part should move and unlock the keyboard. Sometimes this part sticks and the keyboard will remain locked. When you type any character the keyboard is locked to prevent two keys trying to type at the same time. The machine locks and unlocks very fast. One keys is locked in and prevents others from working. try turning on the machine and hitting every key just a little bit harder and see if it then types. When you shift, as the ball is turning the keyboard is locked temporarily so it won't attempt to type as the ball is turning as that would damage the machine. Sometimes the shift mechanism can cause the keyboard to remain licked as the shift may not have finished it's complete cycle. Also, the return mechanism locks the keyboard temporarily when the carrier is returning to prevent you from typing when the carrier is moving backwards. Only a qualified technician can resolve those issues.

Posted on Mar 02, 2015


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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try turning the metal shaft that the carrier is on. turn it towards the back of the machine.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

  • 3594 Answers

SOURCE: On the IBM selectric 2 - the keys are locked up -

Try the shift key, then try pressing each key on the key board one may be partially tripped.


Posted on May 07, 2009

  • 3594 Answers

SOURCE: My IBM selectric II just stopped typing. None of

You probably have a broken belt, you'll need a tech.


Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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SOURCE: IBM Selectric II typewriter stuck in correcting position

If you know how to remove the right dust cover (black inside the T/W below the carrier) next to the R. side frame is the correction set up mech. spray some WD40 on the arms especially where they pivot, they should free up.


Posted on Jul 02, 2009

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SOURCE: I need to know how to install a ribbon on an IBM

Go to and click your way to publications there you can get instructions and pictures of installation. Remember there are 2 different ribbons for Selectric III,s.


Posted on Sep 21, 2009

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