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6 June 2006
This type writer is from like 1901 or something and clearly predates the invention of the shift key. Note that even on this very early typewriter, the a and q keys are transposed, although all the rest of the letters (z,x, m, etc) seem to the in the right places. French keyboards are screwed up and the q-a problem appears to back to the very beginning although other issues seems to have arisen later.
This makes me wonder if perhaps the Americans moved the Q & A for some reason. A is the only vowel on a home key and since (apparently) they keyboard was made to suck to slow down typists, one would expect to have the Q & A in the French locations rather than the American ones.
This type writer is in the Museum of Arts and Industry in Paris (Musée des Arts et Metier)