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History of Stenographs





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The History of Court Reporters’ Favorite Tool

Information and graphics found on stenograph.com

The Stenograph Shorthand Machine (1877)

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Miles Bartholomew the “Father of the Stenograph,” invented the first shorthand machine in 1877. This became a staple of the court reporting field, and was used by reporters well into the 1930’s. Ten keys could be depressed one at once to create a series of dots and dashes similar to Morse code.






Anderson Shorthand Typewriter (1889)

Image titleThis shorthand machine, developed by George Kerr Anderson, had the first keyboard that allowed two or more of its keys to be pressed at once. Unlike Bartholomew’s, this machine used English characters instead of code, which allowed words and symbols to be written.








Ireland Stenotype Shorthand Machine (1911)

Image titleThe Universal Stenotype Company invented a typewriter that was 40 pounds lighter than its predecessor. With a totally depressible keyboard, reporters had the ability to write numbers and words phonetically with fewer strokes. Business colleges began including instruction of this stenograph in their curriculums.








Master Model Stenotype (1914)

Image titleThe Universal Stenotype Company produced one more steno-machine before going bankrupt during World War I. This machine had all the features of the previous one, but weighed six pounds instead of eleven.








1927 LaSalle Stenotype

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The “Master Model Four” used a revolutionary two-spool ribbon system, but the Great Depression cut its life short. Court reporting suffered along with it, well into the 1930’s.








Stenograph Shorthand Machine

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Known for its dependability and quiet nature, this shorthand machine was perfect for the courtroom. The Secretarial Model used a single 11-inch ribbon and held 100 folds of paper, while the Reporter model held 300.








Stenograph Data Writer (1963)

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This model was known for its magnetic tape to encode machine notes for computer transcription and its accurate transmission with minimum key pressure.  By 1970, cartridge could be utilized along with it, and by 1974 cassettes were used instead.








1982 Stenograph Machine

This iteration was the first to have a plastic shell, or casing, which made the machine more durable.






1987 SmartWriter

The SmartWriter had cutting edge technology for its time with the ability to encode machine notes on a floppy disk.







1992 Stenograph Stentura Series

The Stentura was the first machine to feature instantaneous, realtime translation to English or Steno onto an LCD screen.








2001 élan Cybra

Paperless, inkless, ribbon-less, and greaseless, the élan Cybra was an exciting development in the court reporting world.  In 2006, a new version was introduced that included a wireless feature, and was specifically designed for realtime reporting.








2003 élan Mira Series

The Mira included a flip LCD screen for easier viewing,  Audiosync® OTG – on the go!, a USB port for writing realtime, and a DB9 serial port wireless Bluetooth. This quickly became the new standard machine for court reporting.








2005 Stentura Protégé Student

The Stentura Protégé was designed specifically for students. It features a USB and serial connectivity, as well as optional wireless realtime.








2005 Stentura élan Mira Student

This machine was also designed students with students in mind, and was known as the “paperless writer for students.” It features the same technology as the professional version, but in a limited fashion at a student price.






2006 Stentura Fusion

The key feature of this machine is its ability to use paper, or be paperless. Other improvements include compatibility with SD cards, recording live testimony using AudioSync OTG, USB ports, DB9 ports, and battery status display.








2009 The Diamante

The Diamante’s TrueStroke® technology was far more advanced any other steno-machines for speed and accuracy. It features a vibrant flat-panel display, two SD cards slots, two USB ports, microphone and headset jacks for AudioSync, and optional Bluetooth or WiFi realtime translation.







2015 The Luminex

The Luminex features the latest technology and software. Duel key channels keep keys in alignment.





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