The art of stenography has come a long way over the years. Let’s take a look at some of the early stenography machines and how technology has progressed.

1879 – Stenograph Shorthand Machine

Miles Bartholomew, the “Father of the Stenograph” invented and patented the first successful shorthand machine in 1879, which was used as late as 1937. The machine created a series of dots and dashes similar to Morse code.

1889 – Anderson Shorthand Typewriter

Created by George Kerr Anderson, this machine was the first keyboard to allow 2 or more of the keys to be depressed at once. Iit used English characters instead of the dots and dashes code that Bartholomew made.

1911 – Ireland Stenotype Shorthand Machine

Ward Stone Ireland produced this machine commercially with his company, The Universal Stenotype Company. Not only was this machine 43 pounds lighter than its predecessor, it also had a totally depressible keyboard.

1914-1917 – Master Model Stenotype

The weight of stenotype machines continued to lessen; this Master Model was only 6 pounds. It was also manufactured at Ireland’s The Universal Stenotype Company, which was forced into bankruptcy at the end of World War 1.

1927 – LaSalle Stenotype

This Stenotype machine, made with Ireland tools, was also known as “Master Model Four.” This machine utilized a two-spool ribbon system and was produced in green. It was later made available in black.

1939 – Stenograph Shorthand Machine

Robert Wright refined the Ireland writer and came up with the Stenograph Short Machine, which used a single, 11-inch ribbon and held 100 folds of paper.

1963 – Stenograph Data Writer

This machine utilized a magnetic tape with machine notes for computer transcription. The first model of the Stenograph Data Writer had a cable that connected it to a separate tape recorder. By 1970, it was updated to a cartridge, which was later replaced in 1974 by a cassette.

1982 – Stenograph Machine

This was the first stenograph machine that utilized a Cycolac plastic shell, which made it even more durable. It was available in 3 colors: charcoal, green, and sand.

1988 – Anniversary Stenograph Machine

The Anniversary Stenograph Machine was a commemorative 50-year court reporter model that was made by Stenograph Corporation. It featured a gold medallion on the top of the machine.

Stay tuned! We will soon cover Stenography Machines 1988-Present.

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