The truth about keyboards

There are lots of tales and myths about the arrangement of individual letters on a modern QWERTY keyboard.

There’s a story about how the inventor of the first mechanical typewriter in 1873 had to space the letters apart to avoid the metal arms of the most common letters clumping together.

There’s a supposition that early adopters were telegraph operators who found the placement of the letters made for quick and accurate transcriptions.

There’s even a conspiracy theory that the first manufacturer purposely made it difficult to use so they could sell typewriting courses.

Here’s the truth. These were new fangled devices that no one knew how to use. Least of all the salesmen.

To make it easy for the salesman to show how ‘easy’ it was to use, the letters t y p e w r i t e r were all placed on the top row.

The salesman smiles, rolls in a fresh sheet of paper and pecks out the product name in front of a startled customer.

The medium is transformed into the message.

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