Seems like alot of physical labor, yet the keys had to be arranged in a difficult pattern because women (I'm not being sexist here...this was a machine for the secretary and at that time it was a female dominated field!) became too adept at typing and so had to be thwarted by an alphabet pattern that would slow them down.
It didn't work. I remember battling on timed drills to see who was the fastest (oh, and ACCURATE, don't forget that, LOL) typist in the class. I even got an award for my typing skills!!