Shorthand books from 1913

A rather gnarled shorthand manual from 1913

After last week’s work experience at the THE (more on that soon) I found myself thinking it’d be really useful to learn shorthand.

I’ve heard people say, sometimes, that shorthand is a bit pointless these days, because you can always just use a dictaphone to record quotes or conversations. I guess that’s true, but on the other hand you have to work your way through the entire recording to find the quotes you want. Plus, it just seems a little strange to push a microphone under someone’s nose if you’re just meeting them for the first time or for an off-the-record chat! I definitely had that feeling when interviewing people last week – I just wanted to chat with them and take a few notes, not give them the feeling that every word they said might be printed.

The lovely Audrey, sometime hero of this site, came up trumps over the weekend and supplied me with these amazing Pitman shorthand exercise books. They’re over 100 years old! Audrey used to be a sort of secretary and was given these books sometime ago by ‘the lady over the road’.

I would value comments, if you can spare them on two fronts:

– Is it a good idea to learn Pitman shorthand as opposed to other versions?

– Are these heirlooms worth anything? I’m thinking I might be better to sell these bad boys, make a tidy profit and hand it back to the mother in law! There might even be enough left over for me to buy a more up-to-date book…

A look inside the ancient tome.

So this was copyrighted in 1913.. it's not clear exactly when it was published though.

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2 Responses to Shorthand books from 1913

  1. ewenyce says:

    Any answers to your questions yet?

    • joshuahowgego says:

      Unfortunately, no. I don’t get millions of hits on my blog, so it’s not too surprising I guess. I am so busy with my course that I just don’t have time to learn Pittman just now – it takes so much effort. One day though..!

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