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Who Invented Keyboard

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Who Invented Keyboard

Who Invented Keyboard

Christopher Latham Sholes is known as the inventor of the first QWERTY keyboard and the first modern practical typewriter. A keyboard consists of different letters and numbers that enable users to input information to the computer to give commands and perform operations.


Christopher was born on 14 February 1819 in Pennsylvania. Christopher was an enthusiastic inventor, and along with other inventors, he developed the machine which would print the consecutive numbers on each note or railway ticket. Later, Christopher started working with Carlos Glidden on his first typing machine. Although the typing machine was already invented, Christopher wanted to make typing easier with his developments.

The First Modern Typewriter

Christopher developed the prototype of his typing machine with the help of Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule. This was a fairly working prototype of the typing machine, but only the tissue paper could be used. The three men sold the first machine and generated capital to start the mass production of their machines.

Along with the modifications Christopher made to design his first modern typing machine, he also designed the first typewriter keyboard. He found out while experimenting that placing the letters in alphabetical order jammed the machine too often.

The Invention of the QWERTY Keyboard

It is interesting to know why the computer keyboard keys are placed in the manner they are. Christopher was the one who designed the QWERTY keyboard. The reason behind this arrangement was simple. It was designed to minimize the jams. Christopher experimented with the different arrangements, which will reduce the collisions hence avoiding jams. After this machine was sold to Philo Remington, the engineers and mechanics in this company modified the keyboards. The developments led to the alfa-numeric keyboards, which were similar to the ones we use today. This alfa-numeric keyboard came to be known as the QWERTY keyboard. Its name specifies the initial letters of the keyboard starting from its top-left corner.

Who Invented Keyboard

The Evolution of Keyboards

Over the years, keyboards have come a long way and have become irreplaceable today. Although typewriters had a high demand, the keyboards were one of the first input devices as the computers were emerging. Here’s how keyboards have evolved-


After the invention of the first computer ENIAC, teletype became the first input device to be used. Teletype used the cards which were punched, also known as keypunched cards. These cards were then read through the card readers.


The BINAC computers became popular in 1948. They used a completely different method for input/output. This method used the electromagnetically controlled teletype to input data.


The Bell Labs and MIT developed an entirely different and MULTICS computer. This made the commands more efficient and fast as the commands would instantly visible on the screen after typing.


The electric keyboards with video display terminals were in the 1970s. These were simple to use and an effective way to input data on the computer. With the increase in the demand for keyboards as input devices, Apple started manufacturing keyboards in the late 1970s. Keyboards were now standard primary input devices.


With the release of IBM’s first personnel computer in 1981, the Model M keyboard became popular in 1986. The model M keyboard was a highly efficient keyboard that was accurate, gave instant feedback and satisfaction to the user. It was of good quality and was easy to use.

Since then, keyboards have evolved and are now available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Today, keyboards are still developing with improved user experience and aesthetics.

The Importance of Keyboards

Here are some of the examples in which keyboards have made our lives easier:

  • We use keyboards to input letters and numbers to the computer.
  • The keyboard is the easiest way of communicating with the computer system.
  • A keyboard can control the operation of any device so that it operates effectively.
  • The keyboard shortcuts help us view many programs setting and saves our time.
  • Keyboards help us while playing games without the mouse.
  • Keyboards make writing and typing easy.

Impact of Keyboards on the Lives of People

  • Keyboards have saved our time and effort of writing everything down.
  • Along with the growing digitalization and use of keyboards, paper is saved.
  • There are many different technologies for blind people which has made a significant change in their education and learning.

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