JUNE 17

JUNE 17

ON THIS DATE in 1867, shorthand creator John Robert Gregg was born. At eighteen in 1885, he introduced a shorthand system that used flowing loops and curves to represent letters and syllables. By 1937, 18 million people were using the Gregg system, and its creator foresaw an even rosier future. “I believe the day is in sight when shorthand will supplant the written word,” he told the Associated Press. “It will become the universal method of written and printed communication.”

Actually, the opposite has happened. In 1995, AP reported that “shorthand is nearing extinction.” Once an essential skill for secretaries and stenographers, shorthand has been largely replaced by mechanical stenography. But before technology reduced its importance, Gregg’s system thrived. Three years after creating his shorthand method he described it in a 28-page pamphlet titled Light-Line Phonography.

A resident of Ireland and then Scotland, Gregg moved to the U.S. in 1893 and vigorously promoted what became known as Gregg shorthand. The Associated Press in 1937 reported that Gregg had by then turned his initial capital of $50 into a million-dollar-a-year business.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s