History of the Stenograph

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A Timeline of Stenography Changes

Information and graphics found on stenograph.com

The Stenograph Shorthand Machine (1877)

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Invented by the “Father of the Stenograph,” Miles Bartholomew, in 1877. First shorthand machine, staple of the court reporting field, well into the 1930’s. Ten keys could be depressed one at once. Created a series of dots and dashes, similar to Morse code.

Anderson Shorthand Typewriter (1889)

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Developed by George Kerr Anderson. First keyboard to allowed two or more keys to be pressed at once. Used English characters instead of code. Allowed words and symbols to be written.


Ireland Stenotype Shorthand Machine (1911)

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Invented by the Universal Stenotype Company. 40 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Totally depressible keyboard. Reporters could write numbers and words phonetically with fewer strokes. Business colleges included instruction of this stenograph in their curriculums.


Master Model Stenotype (1914)

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The Universal Stenotype Company’s last steno-machine before bankruptcy during World War I. Had all the features of the previous one, but weighed six pounds instead of eleven.


1927 LaSalle Stenotype

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Nicknamed “Master Model Four.” Used revolutionary two-spool ribbon system.


Stenograph Shorthand Machine

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Known dependability and quiet operation.  The Secretarial Model used a single 11-inch ribbon and held 100 folds of paper. The Reporter model held 300 folds.

Stenograph Data Writer (1963)

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Known for magnetic tape to encode machine notes for computer transcription. Accurate transmission with minimum key pressure.  Included cable to attach to recording device. By 1970, cartridge was utilize. By 1974 cassettes were used instead.


1982 Stenograph Machine

First to have a plastic shell/casing. Made the machine more durable.

1987 SmartWriter

First machine with the ability to encode machine notes on a floppy disk.

1992 Stenograph Stentura Series

Featured instantaneous, realtime translation to English or Steno onto an LCD screen.

2001 élan Cybra

Paperless, inkless, ribbon-less, and greaseless. New version introduced in 2006 that included a wireless feature. Specifically designed for realtime reporting.

2003 élan Mira Series

Included flip LCD screen for easier viewing,  Audiosync® OTG – on the go!, a USB port for writing realtime, and a DB9 serial port wireless Bluetooth.

2005 Stentura Protégé Student

Designed specifically for students. Featured USB and serial connectivity, as well as optional wireless realtime.

2005 Stentura élan Mira Student

Known as the “paperless writer for students.” Features the same technology as the professional version, but in a limited fashion at a student price.


2006 Stentura Fusion

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

More advanced than any other steno-machines for speed and accuracy. 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

Features the latest technology and software. Duel key channels keep keys in alignment. Chrome plated key levers reduce friction and provide smoother action. TrueStroke technology results in cleaner steno notes.



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