Science: The Case of QWERTY vs. Maltron

Designing a new keyboard is one thing, selling it is another

Italians claim they invented the typewriter in 1855. Austrians say their own Peter Mitterhofer developed the original machine in 1864. Americans are stuck with a trio, Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule, who constructed a practical typewriter in 1867. The gap is wide between their early clunker, with wooden type bars that fell back into place because of gravity, and IBM's fanciest $1,035 Selectric III with variable pitch, self-erasure and changeable type balls. But alas, even IBM's latest is burdened by Sholes'...

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