Why QWERTY and not ABCD?
On June 23, 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes, a politician, printer, newspaperman and amateur inventor from Milwaukee, patented the first typewriter.
That first keyboard looked like a piano, it had two rows with a total of 28 keys, on which the letters were arranged in alphabetical order. Sholes assumed that this would be the most efficient arrangement. After all, anyone using the keyboard would know where each letter is.
However, things did not go as he expected, as using Sholes' typewriter proved problematic. When a user quickly pressed keys that were next to each other, they would get tangled up and the machine would freeze.
So Sholes redesigned his keyboard to separate the letters most commonly used together in the English language, such as 'th' and 'he'.
So , in 1873 the Sholes QWERTY keyboard was born (named after the first letters in the row), which is still in use today.
Sholes never imagined that typing could one day be faster than handwriting, which “runs” at an average of 20 words per minute. But his invention did just that.
Today the fastest typist in the world is Barbara Blackburn, who types 212 words per minute and has held the record since 2005.
But Blackburn does not use the QWERTY keyboard, but Dvorak. According to experts, QWERTY is not an efficient keyboard, as it favors repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. QWERTY may be the most popular keyboard in the world, even though it has been 150 years since its creation, it is considered by many to be outdated.
For example, QWERTY requires, on average, 50% more movements from Dvorak and 80% more movements than Colemak.
When we type, our fingers cover a distance of about 1 mile per 10,000 words.
And the risk of repetitive motion injuries isn't the only one lurking inside a keyboard. The average keyboard is five times dirtier than a toilet, as many neglect to clean it for months or even years.