Keyboards then and now

Written by: Joseph Hiraoka

Edited by: Ethan Polley

The History of Keyboards


Keyboards are a very interesting thing to talk about. A keyboard is a board, usually made from plastic, that have buttons that correspond and work alongside computers. Obviously you know what a keyboard is; it would be very sad if you didn’t know what they were. So now, let me tell you about The History of Keyboards.

Early History

The story of keyboards all starts back in 1867, when typewriters were invented. People started to discuss about a standard keyboard layout to make typing more efficient. Many suggestions were made, such as the abcde layout that the Nintendo 3Ds uses, but in the end, the qwerty and qwertz became the most popular keyboard style in America and Europe, respectively.


The standard keyboard was made by Apple with the IBM Model F Keyboard, meant for the Apple Macintoshes that were being manufactured by Apple in 1986. Along with the keyboard, the computer mouse was made by Douglas C. Engelbartand used mainly by NASA and Apple (again).

Types of Keyboards

There a couple of different types of keyboards. There’s the usual ordinary keyboard (very creative), mechanical keyboard, and magic keyboard (by Apple).

Ordinary keyboards are keyboards that are a hard plastic (usually) and uses a membrane and a dome for each key to register key presses and then sends them to the computer to display to the screen. Ordinary keyboards are, obviously, the most common keyboard because they are the easiest and cheapest to make. The IBM Model F Keyboard is actually an ordinary keyboard, but it is considered the best keyboard and as a mechanical keyboard.

Then, there are mechanical keyboards, which are usually made of tough metal for durability. They use mechanical switches underneath/inside the board that flicks and registers each keystroke. They all can have a customized version of switches for how loud each click is. They all have different specialties, but basically, Cherry MX Blues are the loudest, and Cherry MX Silent Reds are the quietest.

Lastly, the Apple Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard is the most common in Apple computers, like the iMac Pro and others. The Magic Keyboard is a thin metal body with keys that only slightly go down. The keys are white, and the body is a light gray. Magic Keyboards has a lithium-ion battery that can be charged by the standard Lightning Connecter, which is the same charging port that iPads and iPhones use.


So in conclusion, there are many types of keyboards and the history of keyboards is actually longer than the entire 20th century. Keyboards are really cool in my opinion. I just hope that now you know more about them.

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