Who Invented The QWERTY Keyboard

QWERTY_keyboardThe QWERTY keyboard is the default keyboard used with computers, named after the first 6 letters on its top left side. The QWERTY design was not actually for computer keyboard design, and instead goes back much further than that.

American Christopher Sholes designed the original QWERTY keyboard. Sholes, while worked at a newspaper in Milwaukee. His main motivation was to invent a device that would number pages in a book easily, so that the newspaper did not need the man hours of tedious work in numbering. Together with another inventor, Samuel Soule, he created a machine for numbering in 1866. He may have just stopped there, but a fellow inventor, Carlos Glidden, suggested the machine could capeable of more, nameley typing letters. After reading an article about the Plerotype typewriter invented by John Pratt, an Englishman, Sholes then had the idea to invent his own typewriter.

Sholes got together with Soule and Glidden once again, and after several attempts, and the departure from the project of the latter two, a typewriter was produced, though a major issue with the product was key jamming. That is, the typing bars would stick together when the typist worked too fast, due to popular letters being close to eachother in the alphabet, on which the keypad was directly based. So Sholes decided to split up the most commonly used letters in the design, and after much trial and error, he came up with the QWERTY design. The final design made sure the word “TYPE WRITER” could be typed just from the top row. Producers Remington approved the design, and the rest is history, with QWERTY even being the most popular design in modern computers, which do not have the issue of jamming. Several other designs have been attempted, but QWERTY looks set to be the keyboard layout of choice for a long time.

Below is an example of someone seeming to use a QWERTY keyboard to its maximum potential, a speed which would probably have broken an early design keyboard within seconds:


QWERTY – Wikipedia