From: (Darryl Rehr)
Source(s): Early Typewriter Collectors' Association

I submit the following for the Dead Media Database:
The first shorthand typewriter on the American market was a device patented in 1879 called the "Stenograph." It was invented by Miles M. Bartholomew, of Trumbull County, Ohio. Bartholomew was fascinated by mechanical things as well as the art of Stenography. His combination of interested led him to design his shorthand machine after he saw the first Typewriter (Sholes & Glidden, manufactured by Remington) in 1874. Bartholomew applied for his first patent in 1878.
The Stenograph has 5 keys, 4 of which are grouped in pairs, one key button for each side of the machine. Thus, each finger of each hand controls a single key with key buttons both right and left of center. A single key in the center is controlled by both thumbs.
The keys produce dashes on a narrow paper tape in a code representing letters of the alphabet. One to five dashes in any combination could be produced using the chord method.
In practice, the user is intended to form one letter at a time, pressing as many keys as necessary, but always using alternate hands. This skill is key to whatever speed might have been achieved with the machine. As one hand finishes one letter, the next hand pounces on the keys to print the next letter. The user would be expected to reduce each word to its phonetic minimum and eliminate most vowels. This would reduce the number of strokes needed to an average of two to three for each word.
Learning to read the code of dashes was the other essential skill in becoming an accomplished user of this odd machine.
Later stenographic typerwriters printed actual letters instead of dashes, and using the chord principle, the user could print a whole word (or at least a whole syllable) for each stroke. This idea evolved into modern- day machines.
Despite its limitations, the Stenograph appears to have had a quiet success. It was never promoted with massive advertising, but as we have seen, it was on the market for at least ten years. Several models were produced during that time, varying in the shape of their bases and various other details.
Today, "Stenograph" is the brand name applied to a modern stenotype machine produced by Stenographic Machines of Skokie, IL. The brand name has no connection to Bartholomew's Stenograph.
Further information: Early Typewriter Collector's Assoc. 2591 Military Ave. LA, CA 90064