You may have heard that Chinese typewriters are miles long. The fact of the matter is that they once were (hello carpal tunnel!)In the early 1900s, the machines were nessecarily enormous to hammer out the language's 50,000+ characters. Box-shaped and as big as a large work desk, typewriters were covered in a mind-boggling array of almost 6,000 keys. Typists had to use a special metal rod just to strike them due to the 1/7 inch diameter of the keys. Writing with a brush was typically faster and only specially trained people could use these the machine. And even the fastest of those typists could only pound out a measley 10 characters a minute.

In the 1950s, a "compact" model was created that could fit on a table, but it wasn't until the late 1980s that the situation improved with computer keyboards that had very basic character components, along English letters. Today, the Chinese have the benefit of software that recognizes characters drawn on an electric touch pad. Thankfully, is easily interpreted by any computer's browser.

Source: Ask Anything 1040 6th Ave., 14th Floor, New York, NY 10018