Computing History Video of the Week: The Qwerty Keyboard

Why does the QWERTY key configuration dominate the keyboard market?

qwerty

Not because it’s necessarily the most efficient keyboard configuration. In fact, it saw quite a bit of competition in its early days. Even Christopher Latham Sholes, the man credited with inventing QWERTY, came up with a different keyboard configuration after QWERTY.

As with many cultural phenomena, timing (and a powerful, established business) plays a big role in QWERTY’s story.  The Union Typewriter company adopted QWERTY from Remington Typewriters around the turn of the twentieth century, and secretarial typing classes turned the dominant keyboard choice into the ubiquitous keyboard choice.

Here’s the video:

For more on the history of typing classes themselves, check out this interesting article.

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