Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Have you ever wondered why the letters on the keyboard are in the order they are in? The order seems illogical...and that's the point!
When the typewriter was first invented, there was a huge problem with the keys jamming when you hit two keys at once or in quick succession. Notorious culprits of jamming were "th" and "st". In order to avoid jamming, the inventor, C. L.Shoals, tinkered with the arraignments of the keys until it became unlikely for any jams to occur due to two keys being placed next to each other.
I always assumed that Shoals chose the order that he did because he wanted to slow down the typist. I guess that's not true according to this website.
There have been people in the past who have tried to design the ideal keyboard, the Blickensderfer keyboard being the most notable. In this keyboard, all of the vowels and the most common consonants are on the middle row, making is faster to type ... in theory. Turns out that if you are a slow typist with a qwerty keyboard, you will be slow with any keyboard, regardless of the placement of the vowels. But it was a nice try, Herr Blickensderfer.