Beautiful shorthand–who was he?

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(by jim for


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  1. Now let me start again, and I apologize for the delay!  The trouble started when I tried to insert an example of a shorthand plate written by a W.C. Blackwell directly into my message—it was a disaster!  I don't know what I did wrong, but it was a mess.  I will try it as a file attachment, so please look there, and look in "Pictures" too.  My discussion centered around his beautiful shorthand writing, an example of which I found in a book called "Teaching Gregg Shorthand" and I wondered if anyone knows who he was and what else he contributed to.  I have a book published by the War Department in 1942 for members of the military to learn shorthand on their own, and the plates in there look very much like the Blackwell examples, although I don't know how that could be, since Blackwell was apparently British.  I am assuming he was a "he" although that could be a false assumption.  Any ideas or elucidation?  Thank you, and I am sorry for the two cancelled messages above.  

    Attachment: Mr. Blackwell.jpg

  2. The plate you posted is in the book by Leslie, "Methods of Teaching Gregg Shorthand".  It's interesting that they didn't give the citation for the book, but just talked about a "text published in London in 1940."    To further complicate mysteries, in the same book by Leslie on page 374 there's a reproduction of a plate from the first Functional Method book (Plate 475, the Gettysburg Address) with an indication that it was written by Richmond; this after determining, based on the introduction to the teacher's manual for this text, that Zoubek was the writer . . . .   Alex

  3. I very much appreciate the clarification–it's good to have such great sources of all things Gregg out there.  Now, does anybody else agree with me that Blackwell's penmanship is exemplary and worthy of imitation?

  4. William Blackwell wrote the plates for the British editions of Gregg Shorthand. And yes, you are right, the War Department manual was also written by him. The reason for that is that there was a reissue of the Anniversary Manual in Britain, and the text of the War Department Manual was taken from that newer version.

  5. okay this is what I have so far… 2 outlines I have no idea… the others I'm pretty sure are correct (well one or two)…   I put a blank line where I have no idea… Thanks again…     For the ambitious student the study and practice of shorthand is one of the best, worthwhile available means of self education.
    It ________ for the acquisition of a wide general knowledge because in the course of shorthand training, material dealing with a great variety of subjects must be written from dictation; and independent transcription of such material is impossible without at least an elementary insight into the subject matter of what is written. This further implies that shorthand practice necessitates the acquisition of a large vocabulary which in turn implies a knowledge of the exact meanings of words of their spelling and pronunciation and of their correct application in speech and writing.
    Skill in the use of words again implies the development of logical thought and is capable of ___________ artistic pleasure in the appreciation of great literature. 

  6. Proportions are remarkably consistent.

    I try to copy Grace A. Bowman's hand, myself. The only plates I know of hers are from "Shorthand Dictation Studies", but they're like Technicolor compared to everything else I've read.

    What is the title of that War Department publication, by the way, Jim?

    DebbiAvon1, I think the rest is correct.

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