Why are the keys on a typewriter arranged that way?

The modern typewriter is a complicated piece of machinery. Development to its present form took many years, and many people contributed to it.

Inventors had been thinking about the machine for writing since early in the 18th century. But it was not until 1867 that the first practical model was built, by Christopher Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Shole's machine was called the Type-Writer. People did not seem too in­terested in typewriting at first. The popularity of typewriters began to grow, however, in the early 1880's. And changes and improvements kept being in­troduced all the time.

But the odd arrangement of the typewriter keys has never been improved. This arrangement was the one used by the typewriter's original designer. Some typewriter designers believe that the keys could be arranged more efficiently. They have tried to make such changes in typewriters, but they have not been successful. It seems that the public is used to the keyboard the way it is and wants no change.

The arrangement of the keys is practically the same on all makes of type­writers. This common arrangement of the letters of the alphabet is known as the "universal" keyboard.

Some experts claim that this arrangement is actually a very good one. They say that the letters which occur together most often are placed so that the operator's fingers reach them successively in the most natural way.