The Evolution of the Keyboard

Most of use a computer keyboard on a daily basis without even thinking about it. They are necessary for working and communicating in today’s world. However, you probably don’t think about the evolution of the keyboard and how it got to where it is today. Read on below for a brief history of the keyboard. 

1852 – The Mechanical Typographer

This is the first typing device that even slightly resembles modern-day keyboards. John Jones patented this in 1852.

1867 – The First Typewriter

This was patented by Christopher Soles as a “type-writing machine” and is often considered to be the first typewriter. Soles invented the QWERTY keyboard which was used on this typewriter and remains the standard keyboard setup to this day. This typewriter was big and clunky, and the keys were difficult to push down, but its significance cannot be understated when talking about its influence on technology.

1961 – IBM Select Typewriter

In 1961 IBM drew on the influence of Soles’ type-writing machine, making a typewriter that many consider to be the precursor to the personal computer. It kept the QWERTY keyboard setup and added a few more functional keys. The advantage to the Select Typewriter was the ease of typing that stemmed from the more comfortable layout and spacing between the keys.

Late 1980s – Rubber Dome Keyboards

Most keyboards to this point were using loud mechanical switches, but in the 80s and 90s, several companies employed the use of rubber domes, making for a quieter and smoother typing experience. This are often known as Chiclet keyboards.

2013 – ThinTouch Keyboards

ThinTouch is on some of the most cutting-edge laptops, using a new more dynamic sensor than those with domes or scissors. These devices have half of the travel of a MacBook Air keyboard.

1992-Present: Laser Projection Keyboard

Although early prototypes have been around since 1992, projection keyboards are still being developed to reach their full potential. Once they do, you won’t even need to carry a physical keyboard with you!




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