Sholes was a U.S. mechanical engineer who invented the first practical modern typewriter, patented in 1868. Sholes invented the typewriter with partners S. W. Soule and G. Glidden, that was manufactured (by Remington Arms Company) in 1873. He was born February 14, 1819 in Mooresburg, Pennsylvania, and died on February 17, 1890 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Before the computer, the typewriter may have been the most significant everyday business tool. Christopher Latham Sholes and his colleagues, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soulé, invented the first practical typewriting machine in 1866. Five years, dozens of experiments, and two patents later, Sholes and his associates produced an improved model similar to today’s typewriters.
The type-bar system and the universal keyboard were the machine’s novelty, but the keys jammed easily. To solve the jamming problem, another business associate, James Densmore, suggested splitting up keys for letters commonly used together to slow down typing. This became today’s standard “QWERTY” keyboard.
Sholes lacked the patience required to market the new product and sold the rights to Densmore. He, in turn, convinced Philo Remington (of rifle fame) to market the device. The first “Sholes & Glidden Type Writer” was offered for sale in 1874 but was not an instant success. A few years later, improvements made by Remington engineers gave the machine its market appeal and sales skyrocketed.