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Publication numberUS726107 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 21, 1903
Filing dateAug 29, 1901
Priority dateAug 29, 1901
Publication numberUS 726107 A, US 726107A, US-A-726107, US726107 A, US726107A
InventorsHorace C Stanton
Original AssigneeHorace C Stanton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Individualized keyboard for type-writing machines.
US 726107 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

PATENTED APR. 21, 1903.



154: Norms PETERS co. vnotoumq, wlsnlyo'rom n. c.





SPECIFICATION forming part of was Patent No. 726,107, dated April 21, 1903. Application filed August 29, 1901-. Serial No. 73,687. (no model.)

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, HORACE O. STANTON, a

citizen of theUnited States,resi-ding atPhelps,

in the county of Ontario and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Individualized Keyboards for Type -Writing Machines, of which the following is a specification;

This invention relates to type-writing machines, and has special reference to an improved keyboard embodying means for facilitating the manipulation of the keys by'the touch method.

To this endthe invention primarily contemplates individualizing the keys of a typewriting machine keyboard by imparting thereto some peculiar form or characteristic independent of the characters thereon and also grouping adjacent keys or key-tops in such a way that the different keys may easily and with facility be distinguished and selected.

by the touch rather than by sight, thus specially adapting the keyboard for the use of the blind, as well as for the use of quick operators, depending largely upon the touch method for the manipulation of the keys.

' There is a disposition among experts to learn to operate type-writing machines by touch alone, without looking at the keys, as the touch method when thoroughly mastered enables an operator to manipulate the keys much more rapidly and equally as accurately as when the sight is depended upon to distinguish one key from another by the character thereon. It is recognized that to master the keys rapidly'and correctly solely by the touch method is an exceedingly delicate, difficult, and tedious accomplishment, and with the construction of keyboards heretofore used and patented it is almost impossible to do this with accuracy, as if an operator becomes careless even for an instant or inadvertently changes his position the location of the keys becomesreadilylost. However,thepresentin-. vention of the individualized touch-keyboard entirely obviates this difficulty by providing an improved arrangement of variously-shaped key-tops, whereby the fingers learn to recognize each peculiar keyinstantly,thus enabling the operator, by the peculiar form of each individual key, to strike it with absolute accuracy. The invention is therefore not only well adapted for the use of the blind on account of thekeys being more quickly and accurately distinguished'than by the use of raised characters or other expedients heretofore resorted to, but may also be advantageously adopted by beginners and experts alike on account of the general advantages of the touch'method. For the latter class of persons the keyboard possesses many advantages, since all of the keys or key-tops are doubly distinguishednamely, both by appearance and by form.

In carrying out the above objects it may be stated generally that a characteristic fea ture of the invention resides in making the keys or key-tops of such distinctive forms that the fingers recognize them by mere feeling, so the operator without looking at them may readily and accurately find and strike each and every key by touch alone. In this connection it should be-stated that the invention involves as an essential feature thereof a diversity of form or shape among adjacent keys and such a disposition of these variously-shaped keys that two of the same form never cometogetheramong the keys that are struck by the same hand. Also the invention contemplates arranging the variously-shaped keys in special distinguishing positions to facilitate locating diiferent keys from other keys, which may be properly termed one or guide keys.

With these and many other objects in view, which will more readily appear as the nature of the invention is better understood, the same consists in the novel combination and arrangement of elements hereinafter more fully described, illustrated, and claimed.

The essential or characteristic features of the invention, as above indicated, are necessarily susceptible to a wide range of modification without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention; but a preferred embodiment thereof isshown in the drawings,

in which- Figure l is a perspective View of the lefthand half of a universal keyboard, such as employed on the Smith Premier 1 and similar zoo type-writing machines, illustrating the preferred means of carrying out the invention with such keyboard. Fig. 2 is a detail perspective View of a series of three keys or key-tops for small letters, illustrative of the different shapesthat may be resorted to, as well as illustrating the diversified arrangement of adjacent keys, said figure showing the group of small letters, which in the correct system of type-writing are operated by the little finger of the left hand. Fig. 3 is a similar view of another group of keys which should be properly operated by the ring-finger of the left hand,,illustrating other diversified forms of keys, aswell as showing very plainly the use of a certain key as a one or guide key for those adjacent thereto. Figs. 4 and 5 are similar views showing the remaining smallletter keys operated, respectively, by the middle and forefinger of the left hand. Fig. 6 is a similar view showing a group of keys of capital letters which areoperated also by the little finger of the left hand.

Like numeralsof reference designate corresponding parts in the several figures of the drawings.

The present invention is not intended to comprehend the class of keyboards heretofore designed for the touch method of typewriting and does not include key-tops having raised or elevated characters, but, on the contrary, has in view such a diversified formation and arrangement of the individual keys as to make the keyboard distinctively different from any of the methods heretofore resorted to, such as the employment of simple projectionsupon the keys or the alternating arrangement of smooth.and rough keys, as already disclosed in the art. Furthermore, the-inven- ,.tion does not comprehend spacing-keys or shift-keys and the like, but embodies principally all keys printing capital and small letters, numerals, punctuation-marks, commercial signs, the parentheses, the underscore, and, in fact, all characters which appear on what is commonly known as the universal keyboard with all its improvements.

Generally speaking, the in vention in volves,

first, a diversity offorrri or shape among the individual or different keys of the keyboard entirely independent of the letter, numeral, or other character which may appear on the key or key-top. For example, some keys or key-tops are concave and others convex,while, again, a key of either of these types may have its edge smooth or serrated, forming a rosettelike structure. Also some keys may have depressions or indentations into which the finger readily sinks and by means of which the same are instantly identified, while other keys may have slight projections or elevated beads to arrest the finger and may also have grooves of different depths runningin different directions across the face of the key or key-top. These and many other identifying details of form or shape may be resorted to in order to make the key of an individual diversified form, and consequently the invention is not limited to any of the specified forms of key-tops disclosed nor to the parnumeral 1 in the drawings, and itis of course understood that the same may be constructed in any of the well-known ways and of any material, may be made of any color or colors, thereto in any suitable way. However,i,n order and also may have the characters applied to more clearly indicate the individually-different shape and the diversified arrangement of the keys there are shown in Figs. 2 to 6,

inclusive, of the drawings a number of keys grouped together according to the correct methodof type-writing, so reference will be now made to these figures. 1

In Fig. 1 of the drawings there is illustrated the left-hand half of a universal keyboard embodying all of the keys which should be properly manipulated by the left hand of the operator, and since the right-hand half, which is operated by the other hand, necessarily enibodies the same characteristics it has been: deemed sufficient for illustrative purposes to confine: the illustration to that shown in Fig. 1. Referring more in detail to the charac; teristics of the individual keys and their dis versified arrangement, there. are shown in Fig. 2 of the drawings three keys or key-tops.

designed, respectively, for the small letters q, a, and 7.. Referring to this par-: ticular group of keys, according to the touch method the rule is to keep the little finger orr or overra, which is therefore the one or guide key, and While this key may be varie ously shaped or formed the same is illustrated as being slightly concaved at the top and formed with a serrated or scalloped edge 2, thus producing a concave rosette-like struc ture. As no other key in the same vicinity has the same form, key a can be at once distinguished. In the group being referred to the q key is located just above the a key, and the z key is located just below the a key. Said keys q and 2, while being of any desired form, may retain the usual form of the type-writer key with a slight dish or concave at the top, inasmuch as working from the one or guide key a the q and 2 keys can be readily located.

In Fig. 3 of the drawingsis shown the group of small-letter keys which should be struck by the ring-finger, which has little, if any, lateral play and is the most inflexible and awkward of all the fingers. Therefore this group of keys is preferably shaped so as to IIO materially aid the manipulation of the ringfinger. For instance, the central key of the group, the letter s, is shown as provided with a broad transverse groove 4, while the keys for the letters w and K, respectively above and below the s key, are formed in their top faces with horseshoe-shaped depressions or seats 5, the open sides of which face toward the central key s, and consequently these three forms of keys make a sort of track or groove in which the finger readily moves up or down, thus identifying each key with facility. However even these details may be changed in the practical carrying out of the invention.

In Fig. 4 of the drawings is shown a group of keys for the small letters e, d,and c, designed to be struck by the middle finger. The central of said keys for the letter d is provided upon diametrically opposite sides with indentations 6, While the keys e and 0, respectively above and below the same, may be of a plain rosette form with simply serrations or scallops 7 at the edges thereof.

The forefinger of the hand, which is the most flexible of all the fingers, should properly manipulate six keys in the small letters being referred tona1nely, r, f, v, t, g, and b. In the group of letters r, f, and v the central key f is shown provided with a transverse groove 8, running in a different direction from the groove in the key s, While the keys r and v, respectively above and below the same, may be of plain convex form, as shown. In the other group t, g, and b the central key g may be of the convex rosette type, although it will be understood that any other construction and relation of forms may be utilized in this connection.

An extended explanation of the capital letters is unnecessary, as the keys therefor are distinguished substantially in the same manner as the corresponding small letters, and each capital is struck with the same finger that strikes the corresponding small letter, although other special cues may be utilized to help the fingers coming up from the lower bank of keys to find the capital letters. For

instance, in Fig. 6 of the drawings is shown a group of keys for the capital letters Q, A, and Z. The upper key Q is slightly concave at the top, but is provided on the lower left-hand side with an indentation 9, into which the little finger naturally and instantaneously fits. The lower key Z of the same group is similarly constructed, but is so remote from Q as not to be confused with it, while the central key A may be of the plain concave rosette form and act in the capacity of a one or guide key.

The same general thought, as above indicated, is carried throughout the entire keyboard, and it is therefore thought that the invention will now be fully understood without further description. It is also understood, in view of the explanation, that various changes in the form, proportion, and minor details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.

As will be understood, the keyboard herein described is obviously applicable to typemaking, type-setting, or analogous machines embodying a type-writer keyboard.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is-

1. A keyboard for type-writing machines having keys of distinguishing physical characteristics and difierent groups of which are of like form, said keys of like form beingseparated or remote from each other.

2. A keyboard for type-writing machines comprising keys of individually different form or shape, having a diversified arrangement, and including one or guide keys for those adjacent thereto.

3. A keyboard for type-writing machines comprising keys of individually different form orshape, having a diversified arrangement and grouped in sets, each set of keys including a one or guide key for those adjacent thereto.

In testimony whereof I afiix my signature in presence of two witnesses.




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2545026 *Apr 7, 1949Mar 13, 1951Remington Rand IncMolded key cap for writing machines
US2585699 *Jul 6, 1949Feb 12, 1952Remington Rand IncKeyboard structure
US3396827 *Apr 25, 1966Aug 13, 1968Litton Business Systems IncTactile keyboard
US3848723 *Jul 23, 1973Nov 19, 1974Hogue LAdapter key caps
US4565460 *Mar 5, 1984Jan 21, 1986Kline Alva CConvex key top configurations
US4762436 *Jul 16, 1986Aug 9, 1988Herzog Barbara DBio-mechanical neuro-sensory keyboard structure and operating methods
US5515763 *Dec 22, 1993May 14, 1996Vandervoort; Paul B.Tactile key tops
US5899616 *Oct 21, 1997May 4, 1999Caplan; Leslie S.Impact absorbing keyboard, contoured to the natural shape of the hand and method of using
US6183149Jan 13, 1999Feb 6, 2001Prosper Street Technologies, L.L.C.Impact absorbing keyboard, contoured to the natural shape of the hand
US6883985Feb 26, 2003Apr 26, 2005Robin Catherine RobersonPrintable, reusable key masks
US7182533May 3, 2000Feb 27, 2007Prosper Street Technologies, LlcKeyboard contoured to the natural shape of the hand
US8449208 *Mar 27, 2012May 28, 2013Research In Motion LimitedRamped-key keyboard for a handheld mobile communication device
US20110305494 *Dec 15, 2011Chulho KangPortable and ease-of-use ergonomic keyboard
US20120190409 *Jul 26, 2012Research In Motion LimitedRamped-Key Keyboard for a Handheld Mobile Communication Device
WO1999020469A1 *Oct 1, 1998Apr 29, 1999Leslie CaplanImpact absorbing keyboard, contoured to the natural shape of the hand and method of using
Cooperative ClassificationH01H2009/189, B41J5/12, H01H3/125