QWERTY

This passage is about t the letter arrangement common on keyboards today.

Lexile Level: 1160L

Categories: History Science & Technology


The keyboard we use today, whether on a typewriter or with a computer, was first developed in 1866 by Christopher Latham Sholes. His early prototype was a crude, sluggish machine that jammed easily and was difficult to operate. Its keys were arranged alphabetically in two rows, and the letters were located on the ends of rods called typebars. The typebars were set in a circle within the machine, and when a key was pressed, the corresponding typebar would swing up to strike the paper. The problem was that the typebars would often strike each other and become stuck. Sholes found a way around this by rearranging the keys based on common letter pairs. The letters "T" and "H," for example, were separated to insure that their corresponding typebars hung at a safe distance and would not become jammed when struck in succession. The result was the so-called "QWERTY" keyboard that is still in use today.


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