Important facts: 1. A machine that could reproduce Printed characters on paper. 2. With help from two friends, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soulé, he built his machine, which mimicked the appearance of typeset pages by impressing one inked character at a time onto paper. 3. The keys of Sholes' typewriter had been arranged in alphabetical order, but the mechanical bars which struck the paper consistently jammed, so he rearranged his keyboard, putting the letter-bars that had jammed most frequently farther apart. 4. This arrangement of letters, commonly called "qwerty" for the first six keys in the upper left corner of the keyboard, has been the standard for typewriters ever since, and is used in modern word processors, personal computers, and other devices. 5. He accepted a $12,000 offer from E. Remington and Sons Company (the gun maker now known as Remington Arms Co.) and relinquished all rights to the machine.
How does it work?
Simple device with a piece of printer's type mounted on a little rod, mounted to strike upward to a flat plate which would hold a piece of carbon paper sandwiched with a piece of stationery. The percussive strike of the type should produce an impression on the paper. With the key of an old telegraph instrument mounted on its base, Sholes would tap down on his model, and the little type jumped up to hit the carbon & paper against the glass plate. There was nothing for spacing, line advance or any "normal" typewriter feature. Those were all to come. It seems silly, but in 1868, the mere idea that type striking against paper to produce an image was totally new. It needed proving, and the little telegraphs key model did the trick.