The letter was introduced during the cyrillization of the North-Caucasian languages in the late 1930s. In order to keep new orthography compatible with Russian typewriters many new alphabets did not contain any letters distinct from the ones of the Russian alphabet (sounds absent in Russian were marked with digraphs and other letter combinations). The palochka was the only exception, and in practice while typewriting the Arabo-European digit 1 was used instead. In fact, on Russian typewriters this character did not look like digit 1, but rather as a Roman numeralI with serifs. This practice still is common, because the palochka is not present in most standard keyboard layouts (and for some of them not even the soft-dotted I) or common fonts, and so cannot be easily entered or reliably displayed on many computer systems.