Who in­vented the type­writer?

History Revealed - - Q&A -

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

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