U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for June 23: Key Invention

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Following is the daily “Profile America” feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:

KEY INVENTION

Profile AmericaThursday, June 23rd. On this date in 1868, Christopher Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin received a patent for the first practical typewriter. Produced in 1873, the Sholes machine even coined the term “type-writer.” It also featured today’s familiar but awkward placement of keys. The arrangement was specifically designed to slow down typing by widely spreading the most common letters, in the hope of preventing the keys from jamming. In the middle of the last century, about a quarter of all high school students were enrolled in typing classes. Today, even though typewriter manufacturing has dwindled to near vanishing and moved offshore, nearly 79 percent of American households have some form of keyboard in them, on their desktop or laptop computers. You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy’ mobile application at www.census.gov/mobile.

Sources: Kane’s Famous First Facts, 2385
Sholes and keyboard/accessed 4/18/2016: http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/a/Typewriters.htm 
Typing classes: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 377
Households with desktop or laptop computers/page 3: http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/acs/acs-28.pdf

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down menu). 

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SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

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