Friday, January 14, 2011

Demonstrations of typing speed were a source of public entertainment. In 1888 a well-publicized contest was held in Cincinnati that pitted Louis Taub, who had been traveling in the east and billing himself as the world's fastest typist, against Francis McGurrin, a typist from Salt Lake City. Taub used a rival machine with a rival keyboard arrangement, the Calligraph, and a hunt-and-peck method of typing. -- Stan Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis: "Policy and Path Dependence", Regulation, Vol.18, No.3 (Summer 1995), pp.33-41.

Well, Prof. Liebowitz and Prof. Margolis, you seem to have mistaken both competitor's names, Mr. Louis Traub and Mr. Frank Edward McGurrin, at the typewriter competition on July 25, 1888. Mr. Traub had visited the 1887 Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, where he exhibited his typing skill on Caligraph No.2 with a blank keyboard (cf. History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio; S. B. Nelson, Cincinnati (1894)). Mr. Traub was an eight-finger typist on Caligraph No.2 (not Calligraph) as I mentioned before.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This typewriter is one of those manufactured by E. Remington & Sons under the agreement entered into on March 1st, 1873. ... Densmore and Sholes conceived the idea of arranging the keyboard so that the letters which most frequently occurred together were placed as far as possible apart in the type-basket. Amos Densmore asked his son-in-law, who was at the time superintendent of schools in Western Pennsylvania, to make a list of the frequency of juxtaposition with which the letters in written English occurred, and this list formed the basis on which the "Universal" keyboard was ultimately arranged. -- G. Tilghman Richards: The History and Development of Typewriters, His Majesty's Stationery Office, London (1938).

Mr. Amos Densmore had no son-in-law in 1873. His oldest daughter, Miss Blanche Densmore, married with Mr. Charles Alphonso Curtis in Meadville, Pennsylvania on January 7, 1875, thereafter, Mr. Amos Densmore got his son-in-law. Mr. Amos Densmore couldn't ask his son-in-law anything about written English before the first "Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer" was shipped out in April, 1874. His brother, Mr. James Densmore, either, had no son-in-law at that time as I mentioned before.