Abgetippt aus/from: Spiegel 5/1956, Olympia SM3
Gesamter Text unter spiegel.de
Corrected Translation: After the break.
Revolution of the keys
As excited as optimistically, August Dvorak, director of an institute at the University of Washington, is expecting the results of an experiment that will begin in these days in the American capital under government supervision. The outcome of the experiment will give a ruling on the validity of his thesis: By making a simple change in the usual QWERTY keyboard, Dvorak said, the average performance of millions of typists in the U.S. could be increased by 35 percent.
Although Dvorak propagates its keyboard-reorganization since 1934, until recently no company or government agency was willing to review the statistics and performance curves of the university man through practical experiments. From a revolution on the keypad, the otherwise not so conservative American office practitioners expect only confusion and increased costs.
But just the mention of the costs was to use the Dvorak finally the General Services Administration (GSA) - won for his project - the supreme authority for all affairs office of the federal government. He counted before the GSA chief Edmund F. Mansure, that are used in the ministries and authorities, about 800 000 typewriters. The average price of each new machine would be about $ 125, the installation of a new keyboard after the system Dvorak only $ 15. If the thesis is true of the 35 percent increase in performance, then the GSA may repel hundreds of thousands of old machines and fire a considerable number of typists.
This argument made sense to the authorities Boss Mansure. Saving measures to make - especially at a time, when the presidential elections are close - a good impression. And so now twelve selected female and male typists will be trained for four hours daily on the new keyboard of August Dvorak. When they reach the the same speed, which they managed on their old machines, they should be compared a twelve-person team "orthodox" writers of the same measure of performance.
Read more: spiegel.de (google translated)