Who decided on the placement of the keys on a typewriter (or a computer keyboard)?
We had to go to the expert on this one. Anthony Casillo, collector and historian of typewriters, informs me that Christopher Latham Sholes, who invented the typewriter in 1868, patented as the Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer, first used the QWERTY arrangement as a result of trying to avoid the type bars clashing at the printing point. At first the keys were arranged alphabetically, but the machine kept jamming. When frequently used combinations of letters were separated mechanically in order to avoid this problem, the end result at the keyboard was QWERTY.