Friday, December 08, 2006

The modern method of touch typing, in which the typist employs all fingers and refrains from looking at the keyboard, was first developed by Frank E. McGurrin of Salt Lake City. Touch typing was slow to gain acceptance, even though McGurrin demonstrated superior performance in a well-publicized typewriting contest in 1888 while competing against a highly proficient typist who employed only four fingers and looked at the keyboard. -- William E. Cooper: Cognitive Aspects of Skilled Typewriting, Springer-Verlag, New York (1983).

McGurrin demonstrated superior performance? Yes, but in 1888 some other people demonstrated more superior performance without touch typing. For example, in the typewriter contest at Toronto on August 13, 1888, Mr. Frank Edward McGurrin was beaten by Miss Mae E. Orr, who was a two-finger typist (cf. "Canadian Shorthand Society", The Cosmopolitan Shorthander, Vol.9, No.8 (September 1888), pp.210-215). Miss Orr was employed by Remington later and became a director in 1907 (cf. Claudia Q. Murphy: "Little Life Stories - Miss Mary E. Orr, the First Woman to Become a Director in a Big Corporation", Success Magazine, Vol.10, No.163 (December 1907), p.831). On the other hand, Mr. McGurrin retired from his career as a typist before Utah became a state, and he started his new career as a banker (cf. "Rites Held for Club Founder", Oakland Tribune, Vol.119, No.50 (August 19, 1933), p.3, l.7). Mr. Frank Edward McGurrin was surely one of the earliest touch typists, but it is questionable that he could keep superior performance than two-finger typists at that time.


Post a Comment

<< Home