Ireland Stenotype Shorthand Machine

This machine was produced commercially by The Universal Stenotype Company, owned by Ward Stone Ireland. It weighed 11.5 pounds, considerably less than its predecessor, which weighed 54 pounds! The Ireland Stenotype machine was the first practical machine with a totally depressible keyboard. The ability to write words phonetically and numbers at a stroke produced the greatest output with the fewest strokes. The efficiency of the machine was proven at the 1914 National Shorthand Reporters Association speed contest in which nine machine shorthand trained teenagers


consistently won against 30 seasoned professional pen writers with up to 99.30 percent accuracy. This helped propel machine shorthand into the mainstream. Business colleges hailed this new marvel and began including its instruction in their curriculums.

Ireland was born in 1883, only a few years before Anderson began developing his machine in 1889. As a teenager, Ireland studied shorthand in the evenings while going to school. He took a job in Texas as a court reporter and was later appointed official reporter for the Panama Canal Commision before fulfilling his dream of developing his writing machine, the Ireland Stenotype.

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