Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It took considerably longer for someone to realize the fundamental weakness of the Qwerty keyboard. That someone was August Dvorak, director of research at the University of Washington. With the help of two grants from the Carnegie Corporation, Dvorak analyzed the problems of teaching and learning typing. -- Shirley Boes Neill: "Dvorak vs. Qwerty: Will Tradition Win Again?", Phi Delta Kappan, Vol.61, No.10 (June 1980), pp.671-673.

Dr. August Dvorak was not the first one who attempted to oust the QWERTY keyboard. Mr. George Canfield Blickensderfer, Mr. Sidney Walter Rowell, Mr. Framerz Mehervanji Muncherji Manaji, Mr. Chandler Wolcott, Mr. William Wilson Nelson, Dr. Roy Edward Hoke, Mr. William Allen Gilbert, and so many people before Dr. Dvorak challenged to the tyranny of QWERTY. Mr. Christopher Latham Sholes, the inventor of the QWERTY keyboard, was also unsatisfied with QWERTY, and tried to improve the keyboard arrangement in 1880's. On his improved keyboard Mr. Sholes placed the vowels in "home row" of the right hand, and frequently-used consonants, T, N, S, H, R, and D, in its above row (shown below, taken from U. S. Patent No.568630). After Mr. Sholes died, however, his patents were assigned to Mr. Clarence Walker Seamans, the first president of the Union Typewriter Company. Mr. Seamans, who pushed forward the oligopoly of QWERTY, never released Mr. Sholes' improved keyboard to the market.Sholes' improved keyboard


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