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Publication numberUS2369807 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 20, 1945
Filing dateNov 4, 1943
Priority dateNov 4, 1943
Publication numberUS 2369807 A, US 2369807A, US-A-2369807, US2369807 A, US2369807A
InventorsSolon Philip O
Original AssigneeSolon Philip O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keyboard for typewriters or the like
US 2369807 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 20, 1945. P. o. SOLON 2,369,807


XJZZW IATTORNEK Patented Feb. 20, 1945 I UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE KEYBOARD. FOR TYPEWRITERS on I THE LIKE Philip 0. Solon, Oakland, Calif. Application November 4, 1943, Serial No. 508,879}

2 Claims. (Cl. 197-98) Y The present invention relates to improvements,

in a keyboard for a typewriter or the like, and its principal object is to streamline the keyboard for speeding up the operation of the typewriter and v for insuring greater accuracy in the operation thereof.

More particularly it is proposed for this purpose:

1. To provide a two-point anchoring means the fingers from their normal operating posi-' tion over the keyboard;

4. To enlarge and square the keys for substantially filling the entire space of the keyboard to improve the appearance of the latter and facilitate the striking of the individual keys; and

5. To generally arrange'the keys to present contact surfaces substantially tangent to the curve described by the hinge movement of the fingers upon their average radius.

The expert typist recognizes the requirement that the little fingers be kept upon the anchor keys, to wit, the a and the The reason for this is as follows: By keeping the little fingers on the anchor keys, definite-stretch distanees are assumed by the hand and fingers in striking particular keys. When the hands hecome educated to these operations, and the operator desires to strike'a particular letter, the

' sub-conscious mind sets the stretch, and directs the downward strike.

In the opera ion of the standard keyboard the elbows should be extended so that the ends of the digits fall in their closest approximation to the straight line presented by each row of keys.

By this method a second-pointbearing is made between the extended elbow and the little finger,

from which the striking finger goes forth as directed by the sub-conscious mind in its particular direction. I

As the operator tires of typing, the elbows sa down, and while the fingerpoints at the right angle with the axi of the hand, the dropping of the elbow causes a pivoting on the little finger which produces misdirection. The idealway'to a positively fixed two-point hearing would be made a contact with anchor. Then the dropping of the elbows would make little dilference, as the forearm would pivot at the wrist, and thehands would always be in and one inch from the shift;

fixed positions. The accomplishment of such a plan i contemplated herein.

- There is no justification for keeping the capital letter shift in its present location, for the following reasonsz a. For the striking of each capital letter it requires the little finger to travel one inch to,

b. The little finger loses its anchor; and c. It requires the smallest and weakest finger to do the heaviest work.

In assigning the heaviest work to the thumb, as proposed in the present invention, I not only relieve the little fingers of this task, but also allow the little finger to retain its anchor, except, ofcourse, in those cases where the little fingers must strike the few other keys assigned to them.

In order to strike .a capital letter in the standard keyboard, the two consecutive operations are essential:

1. The lowering of thesh'ift; and

2. The striking ofmthe the use of both hands.

By using thumb shifts, each hand can strike its own capital letters by, first, lowering the hand,

analyzed, it is found that when a key is to be row, the striking finger must first rear up inanarc over the key,

struck on the top or second and thenstrike down. An am or hyperbola constructed on the hypothenuse is always longer than the straight-line hypothenuse. If, therefore, we avoid hyperbola travel, and use straightline travel, much finger-travel distance and considerable time will be saved.

the thumb as a second The hand is so constructed move in an are from the center of the hand to the extended position; and the scope of this are is partly governed by the position and movement of .the link between the knuckles and the wrist. In reaching the keys, the finger should not be called upon to execute unnatural movements; they should be permitted to go forward and back upon their own hinged radii.

To accomplish this would require the con struction of the surface a manner as to permit the fingers to move in their wonted directions, that is, to glide over ramps fitted to the arc of the fingers, rather than to jump up steps.

It is further proposed to enlarge "and square the keys for substantially filling the entire space of the keyboard to streamline the appearance of the latter and to facilitate the striking of the individual keys.

. It should be borne in mind that if the novice key, and thi requires that the fingertips of-the keyboard in such in striking a key, operation will be more quickly learned, and the stretch can be given a wider tolerance.

With the thumb resting on the shift, and the little finger upon the anchor key, we accomplish a two-point fix of position for the striking finger; and when the finger has more distance tolerance, greater accuracy results.

In order to strike any letter on the bottom row of keys on the standard keyboard, it is necessary for the finger to travel back one-half inch, down one-half inch to the key face, then down onehalf inch to the striking point, a total of three inches of finger travel distance, or fifty per cent farther than is necessary with the improved design. This wasted finger distance can be eliminated. The normal curve ofthe fingers toward the palm of the hand brings them to a plane continuous with the surface of the third row of keys, and if the fourth row of keys be tilted upwardly toward the operator, then the finger has only to withdraw into immediate contact with the key and then strike down.

Because of its inconvenient position, the bottom row of keys is the most difiicult for the typist to learn; but when its surface is elevated and inclined, as in the present invention, it will be just as easily learned as the normal position third row.

The preferred form of my invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing forming part of this application, in which:

Figure 1 shows diagrammatically a top plan view ofv a keyboard designed in accordance with my invention; i

Figure 2, an end view of the same; and

Figure 3, a perspective view of the same.

While I have shown only the preferred form of my invention, I wish to have it understood that various changes or modifications may be made within the scope of the claims hereto attached, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Referring to the drawing in detail, my keyboard is shown as comprising the conventional number of letter and numeral keys of the stand-- ard keyboard, arranged in four rows designated by the numerals l, 2, 3 and 4. The keys are mounted on the levers 5 which correspond to those of the conventional typewriter, and, therefore, need no detailed description. The keys are preferably squared and are made sufficiently large to substantially fill the entire keyboard area, except for such spacing as may be necessary for the movement of each individual key.

The keyboard as a whole is contoured in a fore and aft direction to substantially correspond to the normal striking angles of the various fingers, with the hand held in normal position over the keyboard, and so as to form a practically continuous surface, concaved to fit the arc of the average finger radius.

, To accomplish this, the keys of row I are set to incline downward from their rear edge to form a rather steep angle, as shown in Figure 3. The keys of row 2 may form approximately the same angle, while the keys of row 3 approach a horizontal plane. The keys of row 4, being nearest the operator, are inclined at a reverse tilt.

The entire keyboard thus has the appearance of a substantially continuous surface formed with a dip in a fore and aft direction, the upper surfaces of the keys lying substantially in the contour of the dip. Considering the third row as Ill the baseof the excursions made by the various fingers in striking the different keys, it will be readily seen that the keys of the two upper rows may be easily reached by a mere forward swing of the finger tips about the natural axis of their swinging movement, without involving any upward stepping, as in the standard keyboard.

The keys of the lower row 4, on the other hand, may be struck by a mere rearward swing of the finger tips, without involving any downward stepping of the fingers, as in the standard keyboard. Thus, all jumping from key to key is eliminated, and all the keys may be readily reached by a smooth forward or rearward swinging movement of the finger tips about their natural pivots.

In the standard keyboard various control keys are arranged alongside of the main portion of the keyboard for operation by the fingers. Prominent among these are the shift keys used for typing capitals. v

An important feature of my invention is the placing of the shift keys below the standard rows, next to the operator, for manipulation by the thumbs. For this purpose, I reduce the length of the spacing bar, indicated ati5, and place the shift keys 'i on opposite sides thereof. This allows the operator to use the shift keys as anchoring means for the thumb, and my arrangement thus provides the operator with a double-point anchoring means, one point being one of the outer keys of the third row to be used by the little finger, and the other one the shift key to be used by the thumb.

Additional keys, such as the shift lock keys 8, the back-spacer key 9, and the margin-release key Ml, are preferably arranged in the Same row, in the places indicated.

It will thus be seen that my streamlined keyboard offers various advantages over the standard keyboard in ease and smoothness of operation, saving of travel distance and the two-point anchor, all of which result in greater speed and accuracy.

I claim:

1. A typewriter keyboard comprising four transverse rows of keys mounted for vertical movement, with the keys of the third row arranged substantially in a horizontal plane, the keys of the second row rising at an angle therefrom, the keys of the first row continuing substantially along the curve formed by the keys of the third and second rows, and the keys of the fourth row rising from those of the third row a slight incline, whereby the four rows are made to follow a concave curve, the keys of the four rows being arranged to lie in the surface of the curve.

2. A typewriter keyboard comprising four transverse rows of keys mounted for vertical movement, with the keys of the third row arranged substantially in a horizontal plane, the keys of the second row rising at an angle therefrom,

' the keys of the first row continuing substantially along the curve formed by the keys of the third and second rows, and the keys of the fourth row rising from those of the third row at a slight incline, whereby the four rows are made to follow a concave curve, the keys of the four rows being arranged to lie in the surface of the curve, and being shaped-to form a substantially continuous surface.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2948380 *May 19, 1958Aug 9, 1960Smith Howard BStenographic machine keyboards
US2958408 *Jun 16, 1959Nov 1, 1960Cantonwine Hazel VTypewriter keyboard having thumb operated control keys
US3805939 *Dec 2, 1971Apr 23, 1974Ross LKeyboard actuator
US3929216 *Sep 4, 1973Dec 30, 1975Einbinder HarveyInput keyboards
US3945482 *Dec 14, 1973Mar 23, 1976Harvey EinbinderOrthogonal input keyboards
US4294555 *Jan 28, 1980Oct 13, 1981International Standard Electric CorporationMulti-row keyboard for typewriters or similar machines
US4332493 *Jun 12, 1980Jun 1, 1982Harvey EinbinderTen-finger typewriter keyboards
US4597681 *Dec 15, 1983Jul 1, 1986Hodges Anthony NAdjustable keyboard
US4913573 *Aug 18, 1988Apr 3, 1990Retter Dale JAlpha-numeric keyboard
US4917516 *Aug 15, 1988Apr 17, 1990Retter Dale JCombination computer keyboard and mouse data entry system
US5178477 *Jun 6, 1991Jan 12, 1993Gambaro Thomas LErgonomic keyboard input device
US5332322 *Jan 11, 1993Jul 26, 1994Gambaro Thomas LErgonomic thumb-actuable keyboard for a hand-grippable device
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US6840690Oct 18, 2002Jan 11, 2005MetamorfyxErgonomic keyboard
US7182533 *May 3, 2000Feb 27, 2007Prosper Street Technologies, LlcKeyboard contoured to the natural shape of the hand
US7507043Nov 8, 2004Mar 24, 2009MetamorfyxErgonomic keyboard
US20030035677 *Oct 18, 2002Feb 20, 2003Hernan CamachoErgonomic keyboard
US20060291946 *Jun 24, 2005Dec 28, 2006Microsoft CorporationErgonomic apparatus for keyboard
US20070258747 *Feb 5, 2007Nov 8, 2007Prosper Street Technologies, L.L.C.Impact absorbing keyboard, contoured to the natural shape of the hand
WO1987006883A1 *May 13, 1986Nov 19, 1987Anthony Neal HodgesAdjustable keyboard
U.S. Classification400/489
International ClassificationB41J5/00, B41J5/10
Cooperative ClassificationB41J5/10
European ClassificationB41J5/10