Who invented the typewriter?
In 1575, Francesco Rampazetto the Elder, an Italian typographer and publisher, invented a machine called the scrittura tattile, which impressed letters on pages and, in 1714, British engineer Henry Mill patented a ‘Machine for Transcribing Letters’.
Early prototypes took weird and wonderful forms, from ‘writing balls’ covered in letters to cumbersome frames, but none captured the public imagination.
The first commercially successful ‘type-writer’ was patented in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes and friends Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule. Sholes later came up with the QWERTY keyboard, though it’s unlikely it was based on the frequency of use of individual letters; rather, it was arranged in a way that minimised key-jams.
However, Sholes ran into financial difficulties and, in 1873, sold the patent to the Remington Arms Company for $12,000. The Remington Typewriter’s success later established QWERTY as the standard keyboard layout for Western typewriters.
WORDPLAY ‘Typewriter’ is the longest word you can type using just the top row of a QWERTY keyboard