[WORLDKINGS] On this day - June 23, 2023 – The 155th anniversary of Christopher Latham Sholes patenting the typewriter (1868)


(Worldkings.org) American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes invented the first practical typewriter and is responsible for the QWERTY keyboard layout that is still used today.

Christopher Latham Sholes (February 14, 1819 – February 17, 1890) was an American inventor who invented the QWERTY keyboard, and along with Samuel W. Soule, Carlos Glidden and John Pratt, has been contended as one of the inventors of the first typewriter in the United States. He was also a newspaper publisher and Wisconsin politician.


He started a partnership Samuel W. Soule, Charles F. Kleinstuber, and Carlos Glidden to develop a printing device, focusing on numbers at first. Unfortunately, they were not the only ones, since numerous patents were applied for globally. The curious printers and inventors around Sholes however, found that all machines broke easily and could not maintain on the market.

Their recently built numbering machine became a somewhat great success and they decided to work on a further device, assisted by the German clock builder Matthias Schwalbach and by September of 1866, a model including the full alphabet, numbers and basic punctuation was completed. They immediately began typing letters to potential buyers of their idea and found in James Densmore a decent investor.

The patent for the ‘typewriter’ was issued on June 23, 1868 and its manufacture began in Chicago with the financial help of Densmore.


This typewriter was reasonably handy and one could write on it as fast as by hand. Although it was not the first typewriter in the world – this goes back partly to Peter Mitterhofer (1866) -, it was the first to use the QWERTY keyboard layout still in use today; its key arrangement was conceived by Sholes.


According to scihi.org

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