Published: 23rd June 2021
#ThrowbackToday: How terribly convenient is the qwerty keypad? Here's how it came to be
In today's #TBT, we tell you about how the qwerty keypad was invented by a newspaper editor back in 1868 and how this maverick came up with the design of it. Read on to find out
Today, let's say a silent prayer to the qwerty keypad. If you use a phone, laptop, PC or anything else with a keypad, you know what we are talking about. This skillful arrangement of letters isn't a coincidence, dear folks. It was very, very deliberate.
But the typewriter had already been invented, why are we proceeding to credit American newspaper editor Christopher Latham Sholes for it? That's because, indeed, it was he who devised the modern version of the keypad. So, the problem with the initial model was that all the letters were arranged alphabetically which was clearly a hindrance for all those fast-typers out there. Also, the metal arms which would bear each letter would often get entangled.
Hence, Sholes put his head together with that of his partner Amos Densmore to understand exactly which keys were used the most. Then, these keys were placed as far apart on the keypad as possible to avoid the clash of metal arms and they patented the typewriter on June 23, 1868. The duo took this to Remington, a company in the business of manufacturing sewing machines and sold the patent to them.
Here's a quick did you know. One of the first users of this typewriter was believed to be Mark Twain, AKA Samuel Clemens and his book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is believed to be the first novel written on a typewriter!