About Typewriters

When were typewriters invented?


The earliest typewriters in the 1870s arranged the keys in more-or-less alphabetical order, or in a pattern derived from how typographers worked to typeset books and newspapers. But as typists got faster, the mechanical keys would jam up. To slow down typists and avoid jams, many of the most popular letters in English were moved to opposite sides of the keyboard.

Best Regards,
Arella Bernales
Community Moderator at Typesy

Hi there, @ellenahale!

Early typewriter typists had issues with keys getting jammed, so QWERTY was designed to avoid this. The thinking was to stretch commonly used letters apart, allowing your fingers to be less cramped when typing.

When typewriter typists were tested on their ability, their WPM score was reduced by 10 for every mistake made within a minute long test. So a speedy typer may clock in at 50 WPM but make 3 mistakes, dragging their overall score down to 20 WPM. Pretty harsh!

Alex (The Reimagined Classroom Teacher)