Ergonomic, Compact, Internet, Multimedia, Gaming and Virtual – these are the various types of keyboards constructed based on one’s personal requirement. However, they all have the same layout, in easy words, the same key arrangements. Keyboards constructed with such a layout are known as QWERTY keyboards. But, why the word ‘QWERTY’? Well, that’s easy. If you check out the top row of alphabets on your keyboard and start reading them from left, what you get is Q-W-E-R-T-Y, which spells QWERTY, and that’s where the name came from. However, all of this obviously didn’t happen in a day’s time. There definitely has to be a brain behind the innovation. So, who was it? Let’s find out.
It all started out with Christopher Sholes who invented the first modern typewriter in 1866. Five years later after having made several experiments, Sholes and his team came up with a much improved model which is similar to the present day typewriters. However, the key arrangement did not quite seem to be right and therefore James Densmore, another business associate, suggested that the keys be split up based on their usage, and this gave rise to a brand new keyboard layout known as ‘QWERTY’.
The keys were all arranged in a specific manner and not just randomly. Take for instance the ‘Z’ and the ‘X’ keys. These are placed in the bottom alphabet row at the extreme left as they are not widely used. On the contrary, the keys ‘F’ and ‘G’ are placed right in the center of the middle row as they are the ones you use the most. According to the standard typing rule, your index and middle fingers work on the most used keys, while your ring and the pinky fingers are meant for those that you rarely use.
The first known typewriter was offered for sale in the year 1874. However, it wasn’t an instant success. Necessary improvements were made and the sales soon skyrocketed. Unlike the bulky old typewriters of the 18th century, you now have keyboards that don’t even require a physical connection with your PC. But, one thing remains the same, and that’s ‘QWERTY’.