When was the last time you typed something? Maybe you used your computer to write an email, or you just used your phone to send a quick text to a friend. When you think of typing, you might think of the mechanical keyboard you have sitting on your desk, or you might even reminisce about the clacking keys of a typewriter. No matter what kind of typing you do, the ability to write out these messages is an evolution of human technology and communication.
World Typing Day is on January 8th. It is an acknowledgement of not only the technology that has allowed us to type, but a celebration of human communication across time and around the globe.
Writing has long been a part of human history. The Narmer Palette is one of the earliest known examples of writing in the form of hieroglyphics from Egypt between 3200-3000 B.C.E. Cuneiform dates back even further to 3400 B.C.E. from ancient Mesopotamia, where wedge-shaped marks were made into clay tablets.
The modern typewriter was first invented by Christopher Sholes, alongside his two business partners Samuel Soule and Carlos Glidden, in 1866. Another business associate, James Densmore, came up with the “QWERTY” keyboard layout. While it was originally designed to help prevent key jamming, if you look at any modern keyboard, we still use the same layout.
Typewriters quickly revolutionized the way we communicate and paved the way for the computers and touchscreen keyboards that we use today.
If you want to take a little extra time to celebrate World Typing Day, take a typing test online and see how many words you can type per minute. The Riverfront Library has a typewriter available for use on the third floor. Or check out some of these books on typing and typefaces from the library.
Alison Robles is a part-time clerk at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.