To provide an historical perspective for this report, I have included a brief history of the evolution of that typewriter.




To provide an historical perspective for this report, I have included a brief history of the evolution of that typewriter. The first typewriter patent was issued by Queen Anne of England in 1714 to Henry Mill. Unfortunately, the machine the developed could not be turned into a workablle model. During the 19th century, inventors in both the United States and Europe develop typewriters in a variety of styles and shapes. Finally, in 1868, a working model was developed by Christopher Latham Sholes, a Milwaukee newspaper editor, politician, and printer. A gunsmith and sewing-machine manufacturer, Remington and Sons, accepted the Sholes machine for manufacturing and produced the Remington Model No. 1 in 1874. It is said that Shole’s original design for placement of the typewriter keys was chosen to slow down the typist by placing commonly used keys in separate sections of the keyboard. This was done to ensure that the mechanical type bars would have enough time to fall back into place before the next keystroke had a chance to jam two bars together. This design is commonly called the “Qwerty” keyboard after the first six letters on the top row of alphabetic keys. In the early 1930s, August Dvorak, a professor of statistics at the University of Washington, designed a new keyboard arrangement which he called the Dvorak keyboard. He patented his design in 1936. His design ironed out the inefficiencies he was in the Sholes arrangement. In her article “The Dvorak Keyboard”, WSBEA Quarterly, Cecilia Shearson states, In an average work day, the Qwerty typist’s fingers travel the equivalent of about 16 miles on the keyboard while at Dvorak typist’s fingers will travel about one mile. In the home row, he put vowels on the left hand and the most commonly used consonants on the right hand. The top row contained those least used. Dvorak claimed that 70 percent of the typing would be done in the home row and that 35 percent of the most commonly used words could be typed using only the home row, with almost no finger motion. Professor Dvorak asserted that the QWERTY typist’s fingers travel from 12 to 20 miles in an averag word day, whereas the Dvorak typist’s fingers travel just over a mile. The lack of precision made it difficult to deduce an exact ratio. However, Dvorak stated that finger motions were reduced by more than 90 percent, implying a distance ratio of 10 to 1.

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