Christopher Latham Sholes: Father of the Typewriter

Topics: QWERTY, Typewriter, Typewriters Pages: 3 (727 words) Published: February 12, 2012
Jonathan Vogel
BOTE 102 Keyboarding
Tim Schilling
Assignment 1

Christopher Latham Sholes:
Father of the typewriter

I have always wondered; why is the keyboard arranged the way it is? The alphabet is arranged in an ABCDE format while the keyboard is laid out in the QWERTY format. After doing a little online research, I have found the answer.

The reason that most keyboards are in the QWERTY format is due to Christopher Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter. Christopher was born in Mooresburg, PA on February 14, 1819 to Orrin Sholes. Orrin served in the military during the war of 1812 and was awarded land in Pennsylvania. When Christopher was four, Orrin and his family moved to Danville Pennsylvania. There, Christopher and his three brothers became apprentice printers (Gale).

In 1837, Christopher went to work for his brothers Henry and Charles in Green Bay Wisconsin. Henry and Charles were the publishers of the Wisconsin Democrat. After Charles bought a share of the Wisconsin Inquirer Christopher became the editor and moved to Madison Wisconsin (Gale).

In 1840, when he was 21, Christopher moved to Southport Wisconsin and founded a weekly newspaper, the Southport Telegraph which took stands against capital punishment and war, and supported the growing movement for women's rights. Sholes later married Mary Jane McKinney in Southport and he and his wife lived there until 1857 (Gale).

Sholes served in the state senate from 1848-1849, and again in 1856-1857 ("Wisconsin Historical Society"). He deeply believed that capital punishment was wrong and was influential in Wisconsin’s banning of it.

Sholes was always and active inventor. His inventions include a paging or numbering device and a newspaper addressing machine ("Wisconsin Historical Society"). His most famous contribution to society however is the typewriter

It began in 1868 at Kleinsteuber's Machine Shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Sholes, Carlos Glidden, a lawyer, and other...
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