Profile America -- Sunday, June 23rd. The keyboard on your computer is descended from the invention of Christopher Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On this date in 1868, he patented the first practical typewriter, with the now familiar placement of keys. Its acceptance was slow, and for several decades, many people considered it slightly insulting to receive a typewritten letter. But as machines improved, the advantages of the typewriter became clear. The need for skilled typists allowed many women to first enter the world of business. Decades ago, about a quarter of all high school students were enrolled in typing classes. Today, more than 81 percent of Americans over the age of 3 have at least one computer -- with some form of keyboard in their households. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 2385
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 377
U.S. Census Bureau, Computer and Internet Use, Table 2B