First keyboard used to input data

4th July 1956
First keyboard used to input data

On July 4, 1956, MIT researchers first used a keyboard as a direct input device for a computer.

Before this, computer users typically used punched cards or paper tape to feed their programs into computers.

In February 1956, Doug Ross wrote a memo arguing that a Flexowriter, an electrically-controlled typewriter, could be used as a computer input device.

Five months later, on July 4 1956, a keyboard was connected to the MIT Whirlwind computer, one of the earliest large-scale high-speed computers, as an experiment. It proved a success, confirming that keyboard input was much more useful and convenient.

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