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typewriter post.jpg

I found this great article about the evolution of the typewriter on the site of the Science Museum in Kensington, England.

QWERTY refers to the most common form of layout of letters found on the keyboard of a typewriter or computer. The name refers to the first six letters at the top of the board. The initial idea and later development of this design came from one of the first pioneers of the typewriter, Christopher Sholes, who invented the first commercially successful machine. The original layout of letters was in an ABC format, but Sholes found this continually jammed his typewriters. To solve the problem, he asked his brother-in-law, a mathematician, to work out an arrangement that would for most of the time prevent the bars from clashing. Sholes later claimed that this was a highly ‘scientific arrangement’. From this the QWERTY idea was evolved in 1873.

More:
Jeremy Mayer’s typewriter reassembly


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Comments

  1. BigD145 says:

    Why not also comment on the fact that QWERTY was intended to slow down the typist so they’d get fewer mechanical key jams. DVORAK was too fast for the typewriter.

  2. Patti Schiendelman says:

    Like this part? “To solve the problem, he asked his brother-in-law, a mathematician, to work out an arrangement that would for most of the time prevent the bars from clashing.”

    There’s more about the politics of the typewriter if you read the article I linked to. It’s a great article, I was hard put to limit myself to quoting one paragraph! :)

  3. BigD145 says:

    Yes, it would help if I read more.

    You could avoid quoting word for word and give a general summation in your own words with some quoted snippets. You’re already giving a link to the whole text.

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