The Writing Ball

Last week’s post about the Analytical Engine got me thinking more about old-timey computing. Keyboards tend to be a popular item for Steampunks to modify, and that makes sense because so much of how the Steampunk community keeps in contact is through computers, keyboards, and the internet.

If I didn’t have my traditional QWERTY keyboard before me at this very moment, you might think that today’s blog post would be doomed, but, fair reader, you’d be wrong.

It turns out there were a number of different keyboard versions as typing became more popular and integrated into our culture. The QWERTY board eventually prevailed because it actually slowed down typists who were typing so fast that they were jamming up their typewriters.

This is a keyboard, however, that is built for speed

And totally Steampunk!

This is a 1867 Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, and it’s actually a period piece, not a Steampunk design, but it certainly looks like the sort of thing modern Steampunks would create just for the sake of being different. But this odd keyboard is built of more that just aesthetics, it’s ergonomic, and the keys are placed in such a fashion as to maximize the typist’s speed.

Relearning my typing skills just might be worth it if I could type on something like this!

2 comments on “The Writing Ball

  1. Darcy says:

    That’s fascinating! I am physically trying to imagine writing on the Writing Ball. You would have to stand, wouldn’t you?

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