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QWERTY Typewriter – Throwback Tech Thursday

Every week in Throwback Tech Thursday we try to look at significant events that happened in tech industry. This week’s nugget plays significant importance. In fact, without this, we’d all be using different keyboards. On June 23, 1868, Sholes and Glidden patented the typewriter. Within six years of that patent, this had resulted in the Remington No.1 – aka the QWERTY typewriter.  

The launch of the QWERTY typewriter was July 1 1874. Between 1868 and 1874 many different keyboard layouts were tested, but QWERTY proved to be the most favourable. Obviously, the success of this layout was, and still is, phenomenal. According to Wikipedia, there was a search for a new layout during the 1900’s, however, none have ever reached the same levels of popularity.

QWERTY – most popular keyboard in the world

Wiki tells us that “one popular, but unverified, explanation for the QWERTY arrangement is that it was designed to reduce the likelihood of internal clashing of typebars by placing commonly used combinations of letters farther from each other inside the machine.” Another rumour is that QWERTY was so laid out so salesmen could impress people by quickly writing “typewriter.”

I bet you just checked that on your keyboard. Significantly, this layout became the most popular in the world.

The 1868 patent of the typewriter resembled a piano in many ways. Within 6 years it turned into the layout that we know and use today. The Remington No. 1 was the first commercially viable typewriter, however, it was only capable of typing upper-case letters. The Remington Number 2 eradicated this particular issue.

According to Wiki, the Sholes and Glidden typewriter is “credited with assisting the entrance of women into the clerical workplace, as many were hired to operate the new devices.”

So, the next time you go to type an email, show your friends how quickly you can type “Typewriter” and bask in your greatness!

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