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The History of Stenotype

The history of Stenograph dates back to the mid-19th century. During the time of great American inventions, as a result of scientific and technological breakthroughs, great fortunes were built by those embodying the "American Dream".

From 1868 to the mid 1940s, 36 inventors participated in the development of the Stenotype machine that would replace manual shorthand with excellent results. There were three somewhat similar inventions in France, Japan, and the then Soviet Union, i.e., the Palantype, the Sokutaipu and CTM -2. But the patent for the first version was granted in 1879 to Miles M. Bartholomew in the State of Illinois, U.S.A. In 1885, George Core Anderson was the first to create a system of writing a word with one single stroke.

The turning point, in any case, was the participation by Ward Store Ireland, a persistent and very creative young man, comparable to that of Thomas Edison, who, being able to write on a keyboard whose keys did not exceed the number of fingers, achieved the best performance with a minimum of keystrokes. This was patented in 1910.

The next step was to build a company, Universal Stenotype, where a group of 30 teachers gathered at the factory for instruction on the principles of Stenography and operation of the machine directly from the company's founder, Ward Store Ireland.

In early 1913, he trained a group of stenotypists to participate in a speed contest from the National Shorthand Reporters Association. Ireland's company sent a team of nine 15- to 19-year-old student machine writers who competed with 30 other pen shorthand writers, wining all the prizes with surprising speeds of 150-260 words per minute.

From 1950 to 1960, two types of systems were in use at the American courts: Stenotype and Shorthand. During the 1970s, Shorthand was completely set aside and the schools teaching Shorthand switched to stenotype because of the higher efficiency of this new professional discipline.

Currently, the interaction between stenotype and the computer has added an even greater productivity in one's ability to produce the written word in real time.

"The modern Stenograph machine is the key to quick, accurate closed captions"
Max Cumsille, Esteno Chile