Monday, April 16, 2007

A certain Mrs. L. B. Longley, the owner of a Shorthand and Typing Institute, had the audacity to the state that all typists should use all the fingers of both hands. The Cosmopolitan Shorthander in 1877 condemned Mrs. Longley and stated that unless the third finger of the hand had been previously trained to touch the keys of a piano, it was not worth while attempting to use this finger in operating the typewriter. It went on to say that the best operators all used only the first two fingers of each hand and doubted whether a higher speed could be obtained by the use of three. Such an important publications could have put Mrs. Longley in her place had it not been for Mr. Frank E. McGurrin of Salt Lake City who, quite accidentally, rescued Mrs. Longley and established the four-bank keyboard once and for all. -- Wilfred A. Beeching: Century of the Typewriter, Heinemann, London (1974).

Mrs. L. B. Longley? Is it a misspelling for Mrs. Elizabeth Margaret Vater Longley? If so, Mr. Frank Edward McGurrin never rescued Mrs. Longley, but he beated one of her pupils, Mr. Louis Traub, on July 25, 1888, as I mentioned before. Furthermore, The Cosmopolitan Shorthander was never published in 1877. The first issue of the magazine was published in May, 1880, under the title of The Canadian Illustrated Shorthand Writer. The title was changed into Bengough's Cosmopolitan Shorthand Writer in September, 1881, then The Cosmopolitan Shorthand Writer in January, 1884, and finally The Cosmopolitan Shorthander in June, 1884.


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