I learned on this blog the basics of how Simplified was created and how Leslie was responsible.
Here’s a snippet by way of summary by Carlos from a 8/11/2017 post:
(…At the time of his death in 1948, he [J.R. Gregg] was working with Mr. Clyde Blanchard on a revised new manual, because he really was never satisfied with the presentation of the Anniversary manual — he had been working on a new manual off and on starting a few years after the publication of the Anniversary manual, but had put off this project because of the war. Shortly after Dr. Gregg’s death, McGraw-Hill acquired the Gregg Publishing Company, and Dr. Gregg’s wife Janet became the President for a short while. The revised new manual was then completed by Mrs. Gregg and Mr. Blanchard, and a galley proof was produced. At the same time, Mr. Louis Leslie, who at the time was one of Dr. Gregg’s assistants, was preparing a separate manual of his own (this effort was unbeknownst to Mrs. Gregg, as he was working on it in his spare time). When the new Gregg manual was about to be sent to press, the powers that be at McGraw-Hill decided to publish Leslie’s manual instead, and that’s how the Simplified series was born.)
I can’t help but wonder that there must be a story here. For instance whether there were others at the time that wanted a different approach to the new edition or discussions about it at the time (or possibly serious disagreement or side-taking). It seems unlikely and impractical that Leslie should’ve been working alone. Maybe there was some drama!
Likewise, I’m curious about Simplified’s reception at the time and whether reactions to it made it into writing– for instance in any of the Gregg magazines or the news media in general. I don’t know if the Gregg magazines had Letters to the Editor and opinion pieces etc. And at that time since Gregg was nearer its height there must’ve been a lot of interest (maybe more so than at the relatively minor “tweaks” of the publications following Simplified as shorthand was waning).
It’s such a significant step the history would be nice to have. I wonder if there’s anyone still alive who has direct experience or knowledge of the events.