Alice In Wonderland reproduced for about $8

I just received a copy of Alice for about $8 on Amazon…if you’re looking for a copy in “paper-form” instead of digital, it will get the job done for a fraction of a “real copy”

Didn’t know if anyone would be interested in this or not, but the scans used are Georgie Gregg Gingell plates. Good quality.

(by bay for group greggshorthand)

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    The quality of this Amazon publication might not be the greatest. They took the PDF that I scanned from my 1931Anniversary edition that I put on the Internet Archives. I matched up the blemishes and positions of the pages from their Amazon online sample to my scanned PDF. My copy was the source. I scanned a xerox of my book through a scanner feeder. Some of the shorthand on the bottoms of pages is a little jagged due to the feeder on my scanner. But this copy is readable enough. That 1931 Anniversary edition is easier to read than the 1919 pre-Anniversary edition. The price is reasonable. The 1931 version is hard to find because the paperback binding is cheap and the book easily falls apart.


    Several of the public domain Gregg Books that I uploaded to the Internet Archives were taken by a Russian publishing company and are available on amazon in printed, bound form. (This is NOT the same company that printed the 1931 Alice in Wonderland.) I bought several of these Amazon reprints because those books are rare. A good reproduction is easier to deal with than a fragile original.

    It is perfectly legal what they are doing. All of these books are in the public domain. The Gregg novels from 1923 through the 1930's fell into the public domain when they were first published because they did not have a proper copyright notice. A few that were originally copyrighted fell into the public domain in the 1950's because the copyright was not renewed in the 28th year.

    Please note that I was not aware that they took my free contributions to the Internet Archives library. I am not connected to this Russian company. They are too ignorant to understand that there is a very small audience for these Gregg Novels and it was probably not worth their time to take the PDFs and publish them.

    When i originally bought some of these Amazon reproduction books, they cost about 17 bucks. Now they are about 33 bucks. At 33 bucks, these are a ripoff. Some are great quality. Others are unreadable. These are print-on-demand. A US distributor sells them, but they take a long time to deliver them.

    Below are my comments on the ones I bought on Amazon that were mostly taken from my Internet Archive public domain PDF files. (They have several others I did not buy, so I don't know about the quality of those.)

    –1898 Gregg Shorthand manual. A great quality reprint of a very rare book, except for a few light spots on about 5 pages. The original book was only printed for 4 years before the 1902 version came out. Many copies were burned in the 1900 fire at the Chicago Gregg Office. I paid to have this scanned by a professional scanning company who partnered with a library that had the book.

    –Rip Van Winkle 1913 pre-Anniversary version – Great quality printing of a rare book. This is not one that I scanned or posted on the Internet Archives. A University posted this a few years ago.

    –Gregg Shorthand Reading book 1900 – Decent quality printing of a rare book. I paid to have this scanned by a professional scanning company who partnered with a library that had the book.

    –Creeds of Great business Men 1918 – Totally fuzzy and unreadable. I scanned this from my copy. My online copy is fine. This publisher botched this printing. This is a very rare book.

    –Xmas Carol 1918 – Somewhat fuzzy and hard to read. I scanned this from my book. Barely readable. My PDF file was much better quality than this bound version. This book is not that rare.

    –Legend of Sleepy Hollow 1912 – Great quality. I scanned this from my original. This book is not that rare.

    –Man Without a Country 1923 – Good quality. I scanned this from my original. This book is not that rare.

  3. There are some other publishing companies that are taking the public domain Gregg Shorthand books from the Internet Archives and publishing them for sale online. One decent company is Pranava Books in India. The quality is decent, but they take forever to be delivered. Their prices are reasonable. I got great copies of:

    –Great Stone Face 1912
    –Letters From a Self-Made Merchant to his son 1903

    There is another company called BiblioLife that publishes the 1912 Great Stone Face. The printing quality is terrible.

  4. Well…if it's not that great, it is sufficient enough for me. I bought one, flipped through every page…all seems legible…I enjoy a bound copy for $8. Beats printing or reading on my phone. 🙂

  5. By the way, this 1931 Alice is not really pure Anniversary shorthand. They made a few revisions per page to pre-Anniversary 1919 Alice without changing page/line endings or illustration positions. They left a lot of pre-Anniversary shorthand unchanged for this modified 1931 version.

    For example, look closely at "You are Old, Father William." pre-Anniversary indicates "ld" in "old" by lifting the tail of the "L" off the line according to the 1916 Gregg Manual. Anniversary indicates "ld" by curling the tail of the "L" instead. Notice in the 1931 version that they did not bother to change every occurrence of "Old" in that poem to reflect the new Anniversary method. There are many more examples like this. That book was just too long to completely re-write for Anniversary Shorthand.

    The only other modified pre-Anniversary Gregg novel created for Anniversary in this manner was the 1930 version of "The Diamond Necklace." In 1933 that book was completely re-done by Winifred Kenna Richmond. All of the other Anniversary novels were completely redone by Winifred Kenna Richmond with brand new Shorthand plates.

    The Sign of the Four never got past a 1915 version that matched the 1902 manual. At 188 pages, that was too difficult to re-write. Yet they kept selling that long after the Anniversary manual came out.

  6. There's no curling of tails in the ld stroke in Anniversary (and in fact, according to theory, there shouldn't be any curling in any series!): the stroke is supposed to be written the same way in both Pre-anniversary and Anniversary, with a lifting of the end. I agree with you that the lifting of the pen shown in the 1916 manual with that stroke is less pronounced (more subtle) than in the Anniversary manual, but that's more a matter of style and not a change in theory. Moreover, Florence Ulrich made this point clear in the penmanship series in The Gregg Writer for Anniversary: the ld is written with a swing of the pen upwards. They changed the wording in the Anniversary series to read "an upward turn" as expressed in paragraph 136, instead of "raising the end" as expressed in paragraph 97 of the 1916 manual to make it clearer, but they did not intend to change the stroke. The stroke is supposed to end tapered and not with a curl. Severe curling of the pen came when Charles Rader started writing the plates. His style, which is remarkably regular and very consistent, completely changed the appearance of that particular stroke and in my opinion made it less pretty. The change is more noticeable in the Series 90 book, even though the theory reads exactly as it reads in Anniversary. He curves both the ld and the rd to exaggerate it.

    I have a Simplified book with plates written by Astrid Ramsey (whose style is very similar to Mrs. Richmond), and she kept the same swing upwards (no curling) for both the rd and the ld strokes, and it looks beautiful. I don't recall ever seeing Mrs. Richmond curling that stroke: raising it, yes, curling it, no. Check the word "gold" in the Anniversary dictionary. If she would have curled the stroke, the derivatives of the word "gold" would be hard or nearly impossible to write.

  7. "Curling" was a bad choice of words on my part for 1929 Anniversary "LD." I definitely see this as a difference in theory, not just style, between the 1916 and 1929 manuals for "LD." This is clearly expressed in the wording and differences in how the example words appear. Look at the word "old" in both examples. In 1916, LD is created by raising the end of the L up off the line. In 1929, LD is created by changing the shape of the L with an upturn at the end. The most likely reason this was changed was that it was difficult to tell if the L was raised off the line, especially in books that did not have ruled lines.

    #97 in the 1916 Manual – "The combination ld is expressed by raising the end of L."

    #136 in the 1929 Manual – "The combination ld is expressed by giving L a swinging upward turn at the finish."

    They look very different to me. The 1916 version shows the "L" lifted off the unseen line. The 1929 version shows the "L" turned up with a change in shape.

    If you look at the word "Old" in both examples, there is a big difference. Winifred Kenna Richmond's LD in Anniversary novels looks like the version in the 1929 manual.

    The LD in Alice did not change from the 1919 to the 1931 modified version. It looks like the raised L version from the 1916 manual.

  8. I will post the Anniversary penmanship series from The Gregg Writer at some point where they talk about lifting the end (as in the 1916 manual) and raising the stroke (as in the anniversary manual) interchangeably. Further, look at the word "old" on the fifth line of the George Washington reading selection I posted last month. It is written with the swing. That selection was written in 1927, and it is pre-anniversary.

    The important thing is that the stroke is not supposed to be curled, not the actual degree of the slant.

  9. I suspect the slight differences in the shape of the curve at the end of the stroke have more to do with the writer than the theory. Both are still recognizably the L stroke with the end higher than the start.

    Cricket, since I have a tendency to flatten out my curves, I had trouble telling my MD and LD apart for a while. I found it helps a lot if I get the initial curve on the LD deep enough.

  10. I just bought a copy of this 7.00 Alice from Amazon. It is definitely the one that I scanned. My original has a woman's name written at the top of the title page. The same name is on this bound copy. It is adequate, but keep in mind that it is from a xerox copy fed into a scanner. So the Shorthand is not very dark, and there are some jagged shorthand outline on the bottom lines of some pages due to the jerky scanner Feeder.

  11. No. The D83 Pre-Anniversary version was published first on April 1919. That Amazon seller would never dare to use that library scan of the 1919 version from the Internet Archives because there is a watermark from the library on every page. Even though it is public domain, that would be very tacky.

    I am referring to May 1931 (E-78) Anniversary version that I scanned and uploaded to the Internet Archives. It has the same Shorthand plates as the 1919 version, except there were a few changes made on each page to conform to Anniversary: Here is the version:

    The Amazon seller took my 1931 scan and bound it and it is being sold on Amazon for 7.00. You will note on the title page that some skirt wrote her name (Rita d' Autremont). That name appears in the exact same place on this Amazon seller's bound copy.

    This scan was from the first copy I ever bought of Alice in Gregg. I didn't realize back then that there were 2 different versions. All of my other scans of these Gregg books were directly from the book. For Alice, I made a xerox copy and feed that through a cheap scanner feeder. There is no way that I would re-scan that book again. But I'm just saying that the quality of this amazon book is limited by the crummy way I originally copied and scanned it.

    I also have copies of Alice from 1919. Most copies of the 1919 book have D-83 for April 1919. (They goofed and should have used D-82 for April 1919.)

    I have a rarer copy of the identical 1919 version with printers code E-59 (May 1926). That is just a different press run identical to D83, except for the different printers code and an updated list of Gregg Offices on the title page. The shorthand for the 1926 press run is identical to the 1919 press run.

    For the 1931 version, most copies have E-78 (May 1931). However, there are some copies that do not have a printers code and list a 1942 date. The only differences between the E-78 (1926) and 1942 press runs are the different printers codes and lists of Gregg Offices on the title page.

    There are only 2 versions of Gregg Alice in Wonderland: April 1919 Pre-Anniversary and May 1931 Anniversary.

    There is some ignoramus who knew nothing about shorthand and wrote an Article in 1975 Jaberwocky magazine stating that there are actually 4 different versions and that the first version was originally published in April 1916. He was duped by the incorrect D-83 printers code, which for all other Gregg books meant April 1916. However, for Alice, the first published version was from April 1919. I have verified that beyond any doubt. Also, the author of this article about "Alice in Shorthand" thought that there was a difference between the 1931 (E-78) press run and the 1942 press run.

  12. Paul, I have a D83 version of the book with plates by Georgie Gregg. Although the inner boards are dirty and scribbled, the pages are remarkably clean and legible. I see the Internet Archive has the version scanned from the UCLA library. Is that the one you're referring to? I could rescan my pages in GIFs at a high resolution so that it looks black and write, instead of yellowish as the UCLA copy. Would it be worth it, or do you think that the UCLA copy is good enough?

  13. OK, it's the Anniversary version what they are selling then. Thanks for clarifying. I was asking because the back cover of the Amazon book says that the book was published before 1923. That confused me, because although technically it was published before 1923, it is the 1931 version what is being sold.

  14. They put "before 1923" just to cover themselves. That 1931 version fell into the public domain when it was published because it had no copyright notice on the verso of the title page.

    They also published my 1931 anniversary "Hamlet" and said it was from "before 1923.". I strongly recommend buying that one on amazon. For 7.00 bucks you will get an excellent quality copy if a very rare book. I scanned that one from an original copy. Then I posted it to the Internet Archives.

  15. So we should check the Internet Archives before buying. With a bit of experimenting, it's easy enough to print on regular paper and add a spiral binding. That tablet is looking more useful, though.

  16. The dedicated readers with e-Ink screens handle them really well, too.

    Some of the books scanned to the Archive were badly foxed; the color copies of those are hard to read on any hand-held device I've seen yet. Many of the worst-affected books also have black-and-white PDFs that are much clearer.

  17. They do? I thought they handle PDFs badly because they can't re-scale/reflow them, so you either get a full page at a time (with tiny text) or you have to keep scrolling around the page to read it all.

    I'm considering getting an e-ink ebook reader, but this is one of the things that's making me unsure.

  18. It varies with machine, and with type of PDF.

    Some PDFs have words and characters. The reader can, if the programmer gave it the ability, change font size and colour.

    Others are just images. To complicate things, some readers can recognize text within an image.

    And then there are PDFs that are a combination of characters and images. Sometimes an automated converter will guess right (this part of the page is an image), and sometimes it will guess wrong (That shape on the graph looks like a letter to me.)

    Shorthand would be images.

    Some programs on PlayBook and iPod Touch / iPhone allow you to zoom in and out on PDFs. If it's a large original, though, you're still limited by the size of the screen.

  19. Cricket, I concede the point about scaling and scrolling, but the display is crisp enough that it is not always a problem. Many of the old shorthand books had smaller pages to begin with, so the reduction is to about 2/3 to 3/4 size — not perfect, but still clearly readable.

    The Nook e-Ink reader does not zoom image-only PDFs beyond the size of the screen. The Kobo and Kindle ones will do so.

    The Kobo reader will let you change orientation from portrait to landscape, so I only need to scroll in one direction with the ones I have on mine. This is not ideal, but doesn't bother me too much.

    I don't have a Kindle, so I'm not sure of the specific options available. Kindle does have a larger-screen (9.7") e-Ink reader, but it's 3G connection (or USB to computer) only, and I'm not sure of availability in Canada. It's also about double the price of the 6" screen 3G + wi-fi version.

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