Pitman, Sir Isaac

Pitman, Sir Isaac, 1813–97, English inventor of phonographic shorthand. In Stenographic Soundhand (1837) he set forth a shorthand system based on phonetic rather than orthographic principles; adapted to more than a dozen languages, it became one of the most-used systems in the world. Through his own publishing house he published many manuals, journals, and books about shorthand. The Pitman system was introduced to the United States through Stephen P. Andrews and Sir Isaac's brother, Benn Pitman, 1822–1910, who emigrated to the United States in 1852 and created in Cincinnati the Phonographic Institute to teach and publish works on shorthand. He taught wood carving at the Cincinnati Art Academy, invented (1855) an electrochemical process of relief engraving, and wrote a biography of his brother (1902).

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