1902 Gregg

I’ve been looking through a 1902 version of Gregg Shorthand. From what I understand, it was the last version Gregg himself had total control over, including the writing of the plates.

Is it me or is 1902 Gregg very Anniversary-like? Yes, there are a few more formal rules in Anniversary, a couple of word endings/beginnings that are gone, but the outlines themselves look more like Anni than 1916 to me. Anyone agree?


(by shorthandmarc
for everyone)


5 comments Add yours
  1. It has been a while since I took a serious look at the 1902, 1916 and 1929 Manuals, but as I recall the thing which struck me was how developed Gregg's shorthand was, essentially unchanged from the 1902 to 1949 editions – Simplified was truly a major "simplification" of the system.

    It seemed that the 1902 book is really designed for verbatim reporting – look at how quickly phrasing shortcuts and briefs are introduced and utilized up the ying yang! Whereas the 1916 Manual is kinder and gentler, but you'll have the same result if you use it with the 1917 Speed Studies.

    Perhaps by 1929 the Gregg staff realized that shorthand, although used for verbatim reporting, would primarily be used by most students for business dictation. Certainly with the move to Simplified in 1949 that was a company decision.

    Now, Anniversary still offers the opportunity for many phrasing shortcuts once you go beyond the basic manual. We've had a few questions on this board about some highly abbreviated phrases.

    But as a unified system, although the method of presentation changed from 1902 to 1949, Gregg shorthand is remarkably consistent.

  2. The 1916 and 1902 manuals are very much alike. If you have the book "Gregg Speed Practice" (I believe printed in 1908), you can tell about the writing. The one thing I like about the 1902, and especially the 1898 manual is the phrasing. If you don't know those phrases, you can't hardly read the Gregg Speed Practice book!

  3. The 1902 Manual – page 25, Exercise 46.
    I had a great deal of trouble deciphering Dr. Gregg's writing of the first sentence until I realized (gasp) that his "t" and "d" strokes were not consistent in length. But then the preface clearly states that his system may vary somewhat like actual handwriting.
    Paul hit the yellow cur a whack on the head … not exactly the vocabulary or method of expression used by English speakers in 2008! LOL!
    Yes, I started to go through the book this morning and am again struck by how unchanged the basic system was for more than half a century … and from a pedagogic viewpoint, Dr. Gregg's early introduction of phrasing is inspired.
    Throughout the course of Gregg shorthand the alphabet remained unchanged and there were few revisions of the rules until the 1949 Simplified … which again makes me wonder if Simplified met with Dr. Gregg's enthusiastic approval or was it created by his staff? Anyone know for sure?

  4. Dr. Gregg tossed off this mortal coil on February 23, 1948.  That would place the revisions of the manual after Simplified out of his sphere of influence.  Louis Leslie and Charles Zoubek worked very closely with Dr. Gregg for many years.   You just can't get away from the proposition that the rudiments of the system are fundamentally sound.  Though there are different versions and complexities of theory, the basic principles are consistent.  Gregg Shorthand is a remarkably vertsatile system of shorthand.  Having learned the more abbreviated versions, it is no problem to read later versions.  The longer outlines are written according to the same basic principles as the 1916 Manual and most of the versions prior.  Pretty brilliant.    The word beginnings and endings in the 1916 Manual are really useful.  I'm an Anniversary writer, but I have a great deal of respect for the 1916 theory. 

  5. I found the introduction to the 1902 manual interesting enough that, if there is interest, I'll use the OCR at work and post it in this thread.

    Like AnniversaryFan, I also believe the 1929 Manual represents the best version of Gregg but am slowly adding some of the phrasing principles and word beginnings and endings from earlier editions to my "active" writing.

    It's a shame interest in learning shorthand waned as I believe the ability to take notes during lectures would greatly aid college students in their studies and reviews. Taking accurate notes is also helpful at various business meetings and brain storming sessions.

    As AnniversaryFan pointed out, once you've learned a pre-Simplified version, it is quite easy to read the later versions. But I still would heartily recommend anyone who has the time concentrate on learning Anniversary rather than Simplified or DJS. Although decent speed can be attained with Simplified, particularly if employing the "Expert" version, there is so much more interesting reading material available in earlier versions they are bound to interest a beginner much more than the dry business letters to be found in the Simplified and DJS books.

    Had I the capital and rights to the Anniversary books, I'd happily reprint them were there enough interest. Fortunately anyone who is interested can find them at (mostly) reasonable prices on eBay or Amazon.

Leave a Reply