Friday, August 30, 2013

The Gregg Writer Magazine

Raise your hand if you remember taking shorthand in high school.  Now raise it again if you actually used it in the work place.  It's a good thing I never had a job where I needed to use it because I would have been fired after the first attempt to read back my own chicken scratch.  I can still hear Ms. Oser trying to dictate a letter to the entire class and losing half of us before she finished.  She should have stuck to teaching typing.

I came across a box of The Gregg Writer magazines at a yard sale a few weeks ago and couldn't resist flipping through some of the pages.  I wasn't interested in refreshing my shorthand skills, it was all the old pictures, stories, and ads that really caught my eye.  It was hard to choose just one or two, so I bought the whole a quantity discount of course.

I even made an attempt to read some of the sample letters and articles.  I flunked, but did manage to sound out a few short words.

It was interesting to see how the covers and content changed leading up to and during the war.  The box contained 41 magazines dating from September 1935 to June 1943. 

Fresh as a daisy at closing time.
 Vacation from finger fatigue. 

Royal's Selection Competition.  Forget the cash, I'll take the typewriter.

Congratulations to Sylvia Keller.  You go girl!

Thanks to Ms. Oser, I never stood a chance of winning one of these beauties.

Talking carbon paper?  

A must-have for any good secretary wanting to keep her job.   

$80 seems like a lot for a calculator!

Just in case you need to know how to write gall bladder in shorthand.

Or....pustule and rigor mortis.

I never would have guessed that spending too much time on the phone was a problem back
  in 1939.  Some things never change.  

This request is from the March 1943 edition.  Some of the other editions from 1942 and 1943 referred to typewriters as "front line weapons" and the way to "free seas tomorrow."

We still love our typewriters!!
Do you have memories of classes that are obsolete and no longer taught?

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Labor Day weekend.  I'm at Lake Tahoe this weekend for some fun with family and friends.

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  1. Well, I must say, Betsy, that blog post was just "Swell"! ;)

    OMG... those are hilarious! Sadly, it DOES bring back memories; yes I took shorthand, but a medical version called Speedwriting and yes, I DID use it at work (back in the 70's!) I also remember getting black hands from carbon paper... gah. Now I feel old.

    And yes calculators were expensive when they first came out. I remember my sister's first Texas Instruments electronic one in the late 60's...set my parents back hundreds of dollars and it only did the basic functions.

    Times have changed; unless you are talking about the misuse of phones; that seems not to have changed at all! Thanks for the laughs!

  2. Oh.My.Gosh!! Thank you for sharing. I did not take shorthand in high school. I did, however, take a class is "business machines" where I learned how to use those old Burroughs calculators and 10-keys with a handle on the side and, believe it or not, actually USED them at my first couple of jobs. When the Texas Instrument pocket calculator came out it was a BIG DEAL.
    That said, I am headed to a meeting right at this moment and we are meeting in my co-worker's office because she has a calculator that can run a paper tape - lol!

  3. Oh I love these books!And that letter is a hoot...for real they had issues with the phone...who would have thought so back then!

  4. Those are a hoot! "This letter looks swell." hahahaha!!!!!!!

  5. These are so cool. Gregg was the name on my typing textbook in high school :)

  6. Ha ha ha, love the one about the phone calls!!

    Raising hand, took shorthand, raising hand, used it in my job!

    I kept my shorthand pens for the longest time. I don't think I still have them. I'll have to look.

    Funny thing, Betsy, I was dreaming about taking something down in shorthand a couple of weeks ago!?!?!?


  7. P.S. I remember using the mimeograph machine to run copies!

    And when the selectric typewriters came out, we all thought, WOW, how cool, and then the mag card typewriters . . . and now we can type on our phone!!!


  8. Funny. Not too long ago I ran across some similar short hand books at a sale and quickly tossed them aside remembering how much I hated my "Office Skills" class.

    Do you remember the ditto copy machines and how messy they were? Thank God for the computer and the invention of Xerox copy machine.

  9. What a fun post! I did take shorthand and used it some in working, but not enough to really keep up my skills.
    The "phone abuse situations" are much worse. I have used the mimeograph machines, old calculators, manual typewriters with carbon paper and we all cheered with panty hose were invented. :-D
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

  10. What a fun find! I never took shorthand but did take typing class. Not sure I would have passed this course at all! lucky for me I never needed shorthand!

  11. It is so cool seeing all those ads for the vintage typewriters we all love! I never did take shorthand myself, but it was offered in my high school. How things have changed in the past 35 years since I was in school! Shorthand has evolved into texting, I suppose. Thanks for sharing your find with us!

  12. No shorthand, only typing. But my mom was a secretary when I was a kid and she knew shorthand! I always thought it looked like "chickenscratch!" Some of those old books are so funny, what a great find!

  13. I came over to thank you for commenting on my guest post at Must Love Junk and I became absorbed in your post! I didn't learn shorthand but my older sister did, and the name Gregg really jarred my memory. I still don't have a clue how those squiggles could actually make words! I flunked typing and somehow I've made my way through jobs and even blogging by learning to peck with 4 fingers at quite a good speed! lol!

    Love your blog, Betsy!


  14. You're meddling now! haha! Yes, I took shorthand in high school, and yes, I actually used it a bit at my first "real" job. I've never seen the Gregg Magazines, but I did find an old Gregg Shorthand textbook a few weeks ago. Oh, the memories of those timed tests! I was much better at typing!

  15. My mom used Gregg shorthand - boy does that go way back!

    I just read your post at Must Love Junk. It was so fun to learn more about you. Do you still ski? We try to get in 3 or 4 ski trips each season and with my retirement, it should be easy to do if the snow cooperates.

    Enjoy your empty nest.

  16. Came over to your blog from Brenda's at Cozy Little House. This was so fun to read on the Gregg magazines! I'd never seen them... but I took shorthand in high school and used it in every job I had for the next 40 years! still did just a couple of years ago when I retired! Every boss loved that I could use shorthand and they made good use of it! And I learned to type on those big clunky typewriters and used that Buroughs adding machine. Oh those were the good old days!

  17. oh my! i love those magazines. i have been on the lookout for a shorthand book lately, but never knew such a magazine existed. how fun are they and lucky you. i love to look at the old ads in magazines. tfs


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