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Monday, 14 November 2011

Battle of the Typewriter Keyboards: 1955-56

As relatively recently as 1955 - well, at least it was in my lifetime, anyway - the US Government seriously considered converting typewriter keyboards (not to mention typebaskets) from QWERTY to the Dvorak configuration.
The New York Times closely followed the story through 1955-56:
The New York Times, November 1, 1955

The New York TimesNovember 30, 1955

August Dvorak teaching in the mid 1930s

The New York Times, January 22, 1956

The New York Times, June 18, 1956

The New York Times, July 2, 1956

This 1955 Alpina was converted to yet another keyboard configuration, ZACLY:


maschinengeschrieben said...

I''ve already heard of Dvorak, I have I similar - german - article in my "Abgetippt" label section.

Richard P said...

Very interesting, I was unaware that the government had conducted this large-scale test.

The NYT arguments against the change make plenty of sense. I note that they use the word "digital" in its old sense: having to do with fingers!