A common belief is that the letters on a QWERTY keyboard (called for the initially 6 secrets in the optimal row) are blended up and also not in an alphabetical order so that trained typists would slow down and avoid jamming the at an early stage typeauthors who couldn’t handle a quick typing of widespread letter pairings.

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According to this myth, amateur inventor Christopher Latham Sholes re-arranged the letters on a keyboard so that common sequence of letters, such as “he” or “th”, are separated. Allegedly, this would certainly have prevented the machineries from jamming as soon as quickly typed.

However, this concept has no supporting evidence and deserve to be conveniently debunked by the reality that the letters forming “er”, the English language’s 4th most common letter pairing, are placed beside each other. Two Kyoto University Researchers though, Koichi Yasuoka and Motoko Yasuoka, propose an alternate solution that renders much more sense than the “mechanical error” theory. It all has to execute through translating Morse code. (the short article proceeds after the ad)


In a document publiburned in 2011, the 2 researchers imply that the keyboard’s architecture was mainly influenced by just how the initially typewriters were being provided. Due to the fact that at an early stage adopters were telegraph operators that essential to quickly and also effectively transcribe messeras, they re-arranged the letters to the QWERTY layout as the alphabetical plan was not inreliable for translating morse code. For example:

The code represents Z as ‘· · · ·’ which is often puzzled through the digram SE, even more frequently-supplied than Z. Sometimes Morse receivers in USA cannot determine whether Z or SE is applicable, specifically in the first letter(s) of a word, before they receive complying with letters. Thus S ought to be put close to by both Z and also E on the key-board for Morse receivers to kind them quickly (by the very same factor C should be inserted close to by IE. But, in truth, C was more often confused via S).

The paper additionally provides the morse code to further debunk the myth that Sholes rearranged the keys in order to defend his machine from jamming by slowing down typists:

“The rate of Morse receiver need to be equal to the Morse sender, of course. If Sholes really arranged the key-board to slow-moving down the operator, the operator became unable to capture up the Morse sender. We don’t believe that Sholes had such a nonfeeling intention in the time of his breakthrough of Type-Writer.”


Is this the true story behind the beginning of the QWERTY keyboard? Well, even though we can’t be 100 percent certain, it’s a well researched theory and makes a lot more sense than the “no proof whatsoever” concept of slowing down operators. 

BONUS FACT: Regardless of its success, Sholes wasn’t convinced that the QWERTY setup was the best architecture. Although his designs were marketed to Remington at an early stage, Sholes ongoing to develop alternatives and also enhancements to the typewriter for the rest of his life.

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This consisted of a number of key-board layouts that he asserted to be even more effective. One of them was the complying with 1889 patent that was filed by Sholes himself, a year prior to he passed away, and also issued posthumously:

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Photo: US Patent Office

If you favor what you review, then you will certainly absolutely love this one: Why The “F” And “J” Keyboard Keys Have Raised Ridges?

Photo: eBayPhotoshop: I’m A Useless Info JunkieSources: Fact of Fiction? The Legend of the QWERTY Keyboard | On the Prehistory of QWERTY