On this date in 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes was, along with two other men, granted a patent for a machine that he called a type-writer. According to many sources, Sholes didn't have the funds to properly develop his invention, so he ended up selling the patent to the Remington Arms Company.
One of the first problems Remington faced was that the letters on the keyboard were alphabetical, and therefore some of the most commonly-used letters would jam when the type bars came up in quick succession. Sholes addressed this problem by inventing what we now know as the QWERTY keyboard, which re-arranged the alphabet so that none of the commonly-used letters would be tapped in quick succession. People were trained in the QWERTY method, and now almost every keyboard in the world has the same basic structure.
Why are women indebted to Sholes? Because men still clung to the more "elegant" pastime of handwriting, it was women who were often sent to the training sessions to learn the use of the unwieldy typewriters; this gave women a valuable spot in the workplace which they had not been allowed before.
Sholes was born in Milwaukee, which is why that Wisconsin town claims it is the "birthplace of the typewriter."
To read more about Sholes, click here or here.