quicky...listening to "Under the Influence" with Terry O'Reilly yesterday and heard some cool things.
it's all in how you look at things.
QWERTY keyboards weren't invented to slow down typists as the myth indicates that they were.
There were already 'faster' key layouts in existence that artificially slowed people down because they kept resulting in jams. The QWERTY solution allowed people to go much faster without risks of jams.
So QWERTY, in effect, sped up typists. Today we look at it as a solution to slow down typists but that's a relative statement that doesn't really capture the truth of the matter, it was an efficiency measure.
Side note - also learned that one of the reasons that the exclamation point of the past was much more rarely used was that into the '70's the only way you could get an exclamation point on a typewriter (there was no key) was to type a period, press the backspace key and then type an apostrophe.