The Most Underrated Invention of All Time: The QWERTY Keyboard

When you type on your computer or phone, have you ever wondered why the letters are arranged the way they are on the keyboard?

The QWERTY keyboard was created over a century ago to make typing faster and more efficient. Here’s why:

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Alphabetical Keyboard

Before the QWERTY keyboard, typewriters used an alphabetical keyboard, with letters arranged from A to Z.

However, this arrangement often led to mechanical jams, as frequently used letter pairs were located next to each other on the keyboard.


In 1872, Christopher Latham Sholes, a newspaper editor, printer, and two associates developed a new keyboard design to overcome the jamming problem.

The result was the QWERTY keyboard, named for the first six letters on the top left-hand row.

THE QWERTY KEYBOARD- Christopher Latham Sholes

The QWERTY keyboard was designed to separate frequently used letter pairs to reduce jams.

The most common letter pairs, such as “th” and “st,” were far apart.

The design also separated letters often typed consecutively, such as “i” and “e,” to prevent typists from hitting them simultaneously and jamming the machine.


The QWERTY keyboard was a game-changer, revolutionizing the typewriter industry and making typing faster and more efficient.

The design was so successful that it was adopted for the first computer keyboards and remained the standard keyboard layout.

While alternative keyboard layouts have been developed over the years, such as the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard and the Colemak keyboard, they have yet to gain widespread adoption due to the ubiquity of the QWERTY keyboard.


The QWERTY keyboard may seem like a relic from a bygone era.

Still, its design remains relevant and valuable even in the digital age.

So the next time you’re typing away on your keyboard or phone, remember that the layout was created to make ordering faster and more efficient.

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