When the typewriter debuted in the 1860s, the keys were laid out in what seemed like a logical way. They were arranged like piano keys and organized alphabetically. Eventually, the arrangement of the keys changed to their current layout: the QWERTY keyboard. This keyboard was created so that the most common letters were spaced far enough apart to prevent the letter bars of the typewriter to get tangled with each other, causing a typewriter jam. And even though typewriters eventually became obsolete, QWERTY stuck around. In 1936, Dr. August Dvorak created the Dvorak simplified keyboard to allow for the most efficient typing. In this layout, 70% of typing is done on the home row, versus the QWERTY layout, where only 32% of typing is done there. In theory, this layout might make the most sense, but QWERTY is so ubiquitous, and adopting a new layout so hard, that the keyboard as we know it will likely never change.
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Key Facts In This Video
When the typewriter was invented in the 1860s, its keys were arranged in alphabetical order. 00:00
The QWERTY keyboard was primarily designed to prevent typewriter jamming. 00:39
With the Dvorak keyboard layout, 70% of all typing is done on the home row. 01:58