French Gregg

I just found a sweet little volume, “Sténographie Gregg”,  1924, by Ernest W. Farmer M.D. (!), published by Gregg but printed in Norwood, Massachusetts.  It came with the “Clef de la Sténographie Gregg”, a single sheet of “errata”, and a form from Marywood College in Scranton, PA listing those who were absent on April 20, 1936 from the Commercial Law course, signed by Sister M. St. Agnes.  Eight young women had something better to do that day . . . It has great sentences, like “Elle est malade, elle crie” and “J’espère que les oeufs sont frais.”  The book is pretty much in perfect shape.

Does anyone know who Dr. Farmer was, and how he would be authoring a shorthand book in French?  There are so many little mysteries in the world . . .
(by Lee for
group greggshorthand)
One comment Add yours
  1. That was the first edition of Sténographie Gregg that was published by The Gregg Publishing Company. The book was revised in 1931 and 1939 by R. J. Sénécal and Frances Lippman from the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with Louis Leslie. While I don't have any biographical details about Dr. Farmer, it wouldn't surprise me if he had created this version beforehand and sent the manuscript to Dr. Gregg for revision and approval. At the time, Mr. Leslie coordinated foreign language adaptations of the manual: many of those adaptations were rejected or left in draft form.

    Some of the conventions used in Farmer's adaptation are very odd in my opinion, especially the treatment of the nasals and miscellaneous word endings. The Sénécal version of Sténographie Gregg looks like the Anniversary manual, is much more complete than the Farmer version, and has a companion book, the Études de Vitesse (Gregg Speed Studies). For that reason, I haven't scanned my copy of Farmer's adaptation, but if there is some interest, I could scan it as I believe it is out of copyright. The key and the errata would be interesting to see as well.

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