Friday, March 27, 2009


Any mention of QWERTY always brings to mind 1) learning about that in the 5th grade (even though I'd been typing Mavis Beacon-style since I was 7 or 8), and 2) these stickers my sisters & I used to have with a little creature on it named, of course, Qwerty (what he had to do with keyboards, I have no clue).

In any case, I wanted to share this fascinating tidbit of the QWERTY article that I stumbled across this morning (while doing some brief Wikipedia-surfing, thanks to today's xkcd comic):

Sholes struggled for the next six years to perfect his invention, making many trial-and-error rearrangements of the original machine's alphabetical key arrangement in an effort to reduce the frequency of typebar clashes. Eventually he arrived at a four-row, upper case keyboard approaching the modern QWERTY standard. In 1873 Sholes' backer, James Densmore, succeeded in selling manufacturing rights for the Sholes-Glidden "Type Writer" with E. Remington and Sons and within the following few months the keyboard layout was finalised by Remington's mechanics. Their adjustments included placing the "R" key in the place previously allotted to the period mark, thus enabling salesmen to impress customers by pecking out the brand name "TYPE WRITER" from one keyboard row. Vestiges of the original alphabetical layout remained in the "home row" sequence FGHJKL.

I love learning about how things came to be the way they are. --All so they could simply impress clients with typing a word on a single row!

It is kind of cool that you can still do that to this day, though. Ah, how incredibly marketing affects's unbelievable sometimes!

I hope all of you out there in blog-land are doing well these days! Sorry I don't post much here anymore, but I do hope to at least be on here occasionally with some neat tidbits like the above. xo

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

Fascinating. I always kind of wondered why the keyboard was so weird, but never enough to google it. Thanks for the info!