Right now, the QWERTY keyboard is the most commonly used one by people worldwide. It’s easy to use and we can type up to 100 words by using the home raw keys. What most of us don’t know, though, is that there is a much better keyboard invented nearly a century ago – but nobody uses it. How could it happen?
Back in 1868, the American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes decided to create a device to make the writing process quicker. Initially, the letters were placed in an alphabetical order; however, the machine was far from handy. Mainly, it took a considerable amount of time until the system linked to the type bar would print each letter on the paper.
Another issue was that some of the most commonly used letter combinations, such as ‘ST’ or ‘TH’ had the keyboards located right next to each other. During the same year, the inventor collaborated with the educator Amos Densmore to find a more effective way of placing each letter on the keyboard. The final result was the well-known QWERTY keyboard that everybody utilizes today.
Why did everybody go for the change, even though it was difficult to type with QWERTY? Well, it was the most popular method of those days and nobody struggled to invent something different.
A couple of decades later, in 1930, a professor named August Dvorak created a new keyboard that was entirely different from the QWERTY one. The solution was brilliant, as one could type 400 words in English language just by using the home raw letters. However, nobody took him into account mostly because the studies to prove its efficiency were not clear enough.
On top of that, the whole world had already gotten used to the QWERTY keyboard arrangement, so imposing such a major change would have been a real challenge. In fact, according to Dvorak, ”Changing the keyboard format is like proposing to reverse the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, discard every moral principle and ridicule motherhood.”