“Graded Readings in Gregg Shorthand”, US and British editions

I’ve just noticed a curious thing for the first time . . .

The Anniversary edition of Graded Readings in Gregg Shorthand was published in 1930.  The US edition has shorthand plates written by Louis Leslie.  The British edition has plates written by W.C. Blackwell.

Also, the contents are different.  In the British edition, content specific to US history and culture has been removed (such as “The American Red Cross”, “Copper and Paul Revere”, and a number of other articles.)

Here are scans of the contents and first text page of the two editions, both dated 1930.



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  1. Indeed. There were also customized versions of the basic manual and of the second edition of Gregg Speed Studies (Anniversary) for the US, UK, and Canadian markets. Mrs. Richmond wrote the plates for the US and Canadian books, while Mr. Blackwell wrote the plates for the UK books.

    1. William C Blackwell also authored, and presumably wrote the plates for, the UK edition of Gregg Advanced Speed Course, 1961. This is full of shorthand reading of interest to UK Gregg writers and includes many high-speed shortcuts, along with advanced phrasing and word-building principles.

      1. Mr. William C. Blackwell was Chief Commercial Teacher of Clark’s College in Southend-on-Sea, and later was Head of the Home Study Department of Holborn Hall College in London. In 1916, he started contributing his plates and his articles to Gregg Shorthand Magazine (which became the Gregg Magazine in 1933), the UK equivalent of The Gregg Writer, after winning one of the O.G.A. contests. At one point he became the Conductor of the O.G.A. Department section of the magazine. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was very active in the Gregg Shorthand community, giving lectures and advice to teachers (and students) of the system, and speaking in many conventions and meetings. Besides writing the Anniversary UK book plates, he also wrote the plates for the UK versions of the Simplified Gregg books (manual, Gregg Speed Practice, Gregg Transcription Practice, Most Used Words and Phrases, and Gregg Advanced Speed Course, as you mentioned). He served in the Royal Field Artillery during World War I as a Bombardier (equivalent to a Lance Corporal/Private First Class).

        Here is a picture of Mr. Blackwell, from 1923.

        Other notable UK writers were Mr. Ernest William Crockett, who authored many of the UK Gregg shorthand books, in addition of being a plate & article contributor; Mr. Samuel Valencia Greenberg, author of the German adaptation of Gregg Shorthand; and Mr. Francis Addington Symomnds, author of John Robert Gregg: The Man and His Work and editor of the Gregg Magazine.

  2. Your post reminded me of my book (UK) and looking at it found a bookmark at page 76. This must have been when it got too hard for me and I decided to return to the manual and master its final chapters. Unfortunately mastering anything is one of my failings. But I’ll now try to see how the graded reading go now that I have read lots of Carlos’s examples. Thanks for mentioning it.

    I think that Mr Blackwell’s forms are not as clear as Mrs Richmond’s – being a little more “approximate” at times. (I should not mention that really since mine are terrible.)

    Now that I can read the contents pages and page 1, I notice that page 1 is entitled “The Market” though the text is about Marks holiday.

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