Proliferation of Shorthand in America

As the Industrial Revolution swept America, the business world needed clerical help to cope with the overwhelming paperwork.  The newly invented typewriter also needed operators.  Shorthand writers who also had the ability to type were therefore in great demand.

America had few original shorthand inventors.  US shorthand systems consisted mainly of authors adapting European systems, and growth fueled by users meeting demands of the business, government, and legal communities.

By the mid-1860s, shorthand was seen in US courtrooms.  The US Congress and Senate were hiring reporters by 1873.  By 1882 more than 12,000 students were learning shorthand. 

In the early 1900s, reporters were demonstrating the ability to write with great accuracy at record speeds.

These activities created an increasing awareness of and respect for the profession of shorthand reporting, fueling its proliferation throughout America.