History of Typing

Two Fingered Talent - The History of Typing

There are people who operate a computer that have an alternate way of using the keyboard, and do not have the proper skills to use the keyboard effectively; instead they would prefer to use the two-finger typing method. If you're one who prefers this mode of typing, you may not win first place in a typing test or a wpm test but you are actually doing it the same way that the originators of the typewriter intended it to be used.

The first typewriters were designed to be used using only two fingers and they were actually invented to assist blind people. They were able to type by feeling embossed letters on paper.

The typewriter was invented in 1866, but the idea dates back to 1714. Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soulé, built the first practical typing machine in 1866 and Sholes obtained a patent in 1868. The Remington Gun Company was the manufacturer of the machines and it took one more patent and another three years for Sholes, Glidden, and Soulé, to produce a model close to the typewriters we use today.

Mrs. L.V. Longley developed the method for ten-fingered typing in 1978. Touch typing, or memorizing the location of keys and key placement memorization was Frank McGurrin's conception. Sholes developed the QWERTY layout, which is the standard keyboard layout used today. Since typists back then had a high average typing speed and continually increasing in their wpm test something had to be done to slow them down and slow the results of their wpm test to keep machines from jamming. The QWERTY layout was the perfect answer.

However, QWERTY layouts were not practical. In 1936 August Dvorak developed a keyboard layout, which was more ergonomic and increased average typing speed. QWERTY was the standard method and typewriter manufacturers did not want to change the system of typing.

IBM could have revolutionized the way we type today, with the introduction of the PC but they did not realize that PCs would be used by people who didn't have the necessary typing skills and the Qwerty legacy did not have impact on those individuals to begin with and that the QWERTY legacy didn't make much of a difference to those individuals. In addition, modern keyboards were immune to jamming and layouts to slow people down were a thing of the past.