The QWERTY keyboard was patented in 1874 and was developed specifically to be used with mechanical typewriters and one of the primary objectives of the key placement was to avoid the mechanical typebars from clashing together and jamming (those old enough to remember these typewriters will know exactly what happens).
These days no such risk exists but most of us persist in using the 19th century QWERTY keyboards.
The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is a keyboard layout patented in 1936 by August Dvorak and was designed specifically to be easy and efficient to operate.
I am told that after quite a short period of time the Dvorak keyboard is easy to get use to and can quicky increase typing speed by near to 50%. I am going to have to get me one of those!
Thanks to Alex Manchester & Michael Sampson for alerting me to the benefits of the Dvorak Keyboard. You can find out more about the Dvorak Keyboard here.