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It’s All Squiggles To Me

Pitman's Shorthand or Phonography books

four different volumes of Pitman’s Shorthand or Phonography books that belonged to John Beavis Randell

a page in one of the Pitman's Shorthand or Phonography books

a page in one of the Pitman’s Shorthand or Phonography books
I have no idea how anyone can actually read this stuff!

inscription J.B. Randell

inscription J.B. Randell, Salem Glen, Gumeracha 1898

DESCRIPTION: Four volumes of ”Pitman’s Shorthand of Phonography” books
DATE: the books were produced in 1893, 1894, 1895 and 1896, John dated one of his books 1898
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:  These books belonged to John Beavis Randell (my great grandpa), and youngest son of William Beavis Randell who founded Gumeracha.
John taught himself shorthand but was said to have added his own style to it, so when he wrote his sermons in it, no one could read them. 😉

2 Responses to “It’s All Squiggles To Me”

  1. That is so cool! I actually studied some short hand in high school and used to use it to take notes. I got pretty good at it at the time but with the exceptions of a couple of symbols I still use, I’ve forgotten all of it. Looking at those pictures you posted I can’t believe I used to be able to read some of that! It used to be a very useful skill. I didn’t know it was in vogue so long ago!

    • Alona Tester says:

      Thankyou for your comment. Well done for learning shorthand, I guess it is essentially just another language, but it doesn’t look an easy one. I don’t know if it was popular or not back then, but obviously popular enough to have some books available on it. I just love the fact my great grandpa changed it enough to be his own style, so no-one would copy his sermons! That’s hilarious.

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