Spring Potpourri IV
May 6 – The Legacy of Milwaukee’s QWERTY Keyboard
Milwaukee’s most famous export is the Qwerty keyboard, named after the arrangement of letters on the first commercially successful typewriter, which went into production in 1873. Typewriters are mostly obsolete today, but their keyboards are not. Billions of people still type on the same keyboard every day, a quaint Victorian relic at the heart of even the most advanced computer. Why has Qwerty been so durable, and where did it come from? Join UWM Professor Jason Puskar for a tour of Qwerty’s past, present and future. He’ll debunk the myth that the keys had to be scrambled in order to slow down typing to prevent keys from jamming. And he’ll show you how to spot the vestigial remains of even earlier technologies, such as pianos and printing telegraphy, in your computer keyboard today.
May 13 – Staying Safe in the Community
This presentation will ensure that you are safe, secure and comfortable going to the grocery store, concerts and traveling. Scasny will share tips for moving about your community.
Jason Puskar is a Professor of English and the Associate Dean for Humanities at UWM. He works on late-19 and early 20th-century American literature and culture, with an emphasis on the history of science and technology. His first book, “Accident Society: ... read more
Mike Scasny worked as a Deputy Sheriff/training officer with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office for 25 years. He retired in 2018 and has been doing presentations in the community.