Why do keyboards use the 'qwerty' layout?

2 Answers

Brendon Dismon Profile
Brendon Dismon answered

The QWERTY layout was devised and created in the early 1870s
by Christopher Latham Sholes, a newspaper editor and printer who lived in
Milwaukee. In October 1867, QWERT is an easiest way to type all lower and upper
case alphabets with the use of shift key. That’s why it is popular.


Kioyre S. Profile
Kioyre S. answered

Well, the QWERTY layout as we know it today came about through lots of trial and error. A certain Christopher Latham Scholes, a newspaper editor and writer, had designed a 'writing machine' (typewriter). Because typewriters had typebars (the things you press for letters), if two neighboring letters were pressed together in quick succession by mistake or whatnot, they'd get stuck. So, when attempting to organize the letters in alphabetical order, the letters that were used more often caused jams (like, "st"). That meant 'letter pairs' couldn't neighbor each other. This may seem like it could've slowed typing down, but it allowed for a lot of hand movement, and thus even increased the speed in which one typed (also, the letter 'A' is the only vowel on the middle letter row and promoted more movement this way).

It is said that when Scholes sold the typewriter model, the '.' was in the place of the 'R', but the company changed it because it allowed for the word 'typewriter' to be written on only the top letter row. Regardless of whether that is true, I still think it's pretty cool.

The reasons that keyboards have the QWERTY layout and not just typewriters is because, well, no one was going to bother trying to memorize a completely different layout... Imagine if people decided to switch from QWERTY to something else nowadays? I'd constantly get mixed up.


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