Practice typewriter keyboards seem like a good idea, especially to a two-fingered typist such as myself. On this day (December 7) in 1915, William Perry Cosper, of Chicago, patented just such a thing.
Cosper, born in Carson City on August 12, 1866, was an inventor employed by a railroad supply company. He died in Chicago on January 25, 1952.
Two further US efforts were made to produce practice typewriter keyboards, the first in 1942 by Atlanta-born Amy Emanuel (1892-), an Asheville, North Carolina, court stenographer, and the second in 1948 by Edgar T.Lugar (1912-1966), a Berkeley, California, compositor and printer.
Interestingly, the first such device, in 1896, was designed by an Englishman, John Stevenson Rhodes, of Birmingham, for Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict, the makers and marketers of Remington typewriters. Another Englishman, Henry Herbert Yelf, of Southsea, patented a similar design in the US in 1923. He called it an "instructional dummy practice-keyboard apparatus", which just about says it all.
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