Christopher Latham Sholes

Christopher Latham Sholes

Columbia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 17 Feb 1890 (aged 71)
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 7656870 · View Source
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Inventor. Christopher Sholes is credited as an American inventor of the 19th century, who developed the typewriter. Earlier prototypes were a bulky, cumbersome piece of machinery, thus not practical. He, with two other inventors, were granted an American patent for the typewriter in 1868. Later improvements gained him two more patents. Due to difficulty in obtaining funds for development, he sold his patent rights in 1873 for $12,000 to the Remington Firearms and Sons. Remington was a well-equipped firm with machinery and skill, which could continue the development of the typewriter. The first typewriters were placed on the market in 1874, and the machine was soon renamed the Remington Typewriter. The first typewriter had no shift-key mechanism, thus it wrote capital letters only. A second machine with capital and small letter was invented before the shift-key was invented. The Sholes keyboard is called the QWERTY keyboard because of the order of the first six keys in the third row. This arrangement, the Sholes QWERTY keyboard is still used today. After high school, Sholes became an apprentice printer before relocating to Wisconsin. There he became a newspaper man advancing to being the editor of several newspapers. He was elected to the State of Wisconsin legislature before accepting President Abraham Lincoln's appointment as the tariff collector at the Port of Milwaukee. After accepting this position, he had the time to work on his inventions. In 1864 he and Samuel W. Soule received a patent for a page-numbering machine. Carlos Glidden, an inventor and mechanic, suggested that Sholes should attempt to rework John Pratt's bulky typewriter called the Pterotype. Pratt, an Alabama attorney, was an investor to several newspapers. After moving to England in 1861, he had completed his invention in 1864 and granted a patent for his Pterotype in London in 1866 along with one in France before returning to the United States. As an Alabama newspaper later published,“If Sholes is the father of the typewriter, then Pratt is the grandfather.” With Gliden and Soule, Sholes was granted the patent to the typewriter on June 23, 1868. Shole devoted the rest of his life to developing a better typewriter.

Bio by: Allcalmap


"The Father Of The Typewriter"
Dedicated By
The Young Men And Women Of America
In Grateful Memory Of One Who
Materially Aided In The World's Progress"



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Allcalmap
  • Added: 5 Jul 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7656870
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Christopher Latham Sholes (14 Feb 1819–17 Feb 1890), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7656870, citing Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .