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sulted in much trouble and confusion. This defect in a marvelous system of taking down the words of a speaker verbatim is one which numerous inventors have labored to correct. Mechanical aid of some sort seemed the only solution of the problem, because there are limits beyond which even the swiftest hand and the keenest and most accurate mind cannot go. So these inventors set to work to perfect a device that would replace shorthand. But none of the many machines on which patents were claimed seemed capable of fulfilling all the requirements that would be exacted of them.
There has recently been put upon the market, however, a dictating machine, called the Stenotype, which its inventor claims will do for shorthand what the typewriter has done for longhand. It is not intended to replace the typewriter, but to be a companion machine to it. It is said to eliminate the greater part of brain work in taking dictation, and to make this work a matter of practice rather than mental strain. This claim certainly makes it look rosy for those who have heretofore found the stenographic pace too fast. Instead of learning stenography the student will only need to learn to operate the dictating machine.
Shorthand is difficult to master and many students of it never become proficient, while those who may be termed experts are comparatively few. This is proved by the number of those who fail in taking the Civil Service examinations for Uncle Sam. The speed required to pass is only eighty words per minute, which probably defines the speed limit of the average experienced stenographer. The trouble is that in shorthand there are too many mental operations to be performed-six for every word, in fact. It is claimed that the dictating machine will cut this in two. · The training and practice necessary to be able to make all the
THE NEW STENOGRAPHIC CODE AND ITS KEY. EU cquals I: PH equals M initial); PB equals N (final); BG equals K (final): final T cquals T or D (context invariably distinguishes); S equals Is or As-in phrases initial gr final): TPH equals N (initial); TP equals F (initial). The following letters, when appearing on the same line with asterisk, become figures instead, as: S with the asterisk equals 1: T with the as. terisk equals 2; P with the asterisk equals 3: H with the asterisk equals 4; E with the asterisk equals 5; F with the asterisk equals 6: P with the asterisk equals 7: L with the asterisk equals 8: T with the asterisk equals 9: 0 with the asterisk equals 0.
characters in any system of shorthandthe dots and dashes, big and little circles, long and short characters, the curved and straight lines, and the light and shaded lines—accurately and while going at any speed requires months and often years. And then there is the serious question, already referred to, of legibility in transcribing these characters after they are once made; for often the same character will mean different things when above, below or on a line, different things when shaded, and still other things when lengthened or shortened.
The dictating machine is said to do away with this question of legibility entirely, since it writes in plain type-letters, so that no matter how fast one writes the letters are always properly executed. For this reason one person can read what another has written just as easily as he can his own work, a thing which is practically impossible in shorthand. It also leaves a permanent record, which can be transcribed at any time; and this is another advantage over shorthand, for
or every stenographer knows that the longer the time that elapses between the taking of shorthand dictation and its transcription, the more difficult the task becomes.
It is possible for an expert user of the typewriter to take-slow dictation directly on the machine, the average speed in this connection being about sixty words per minute, which means that the typewriter is given about four hundred strokes, including spacing, in this length of time. As the new dictating machine is designed to write over a word a stroke, the spacing being done automatically, it will be seen that even if it is struck only half the number of times that is required in ordinary use on the typewriter, it will
still still be writing almost four times as many words as the latter, and more than twice as many as the average stenographer can take down in shorthand in the same length of time.
The most remarkable feature of this machine is the keyboard, which contains only twenty keys. All of the missing letters on the keyboard are secured by combining certain other letters. These combinations form what is called a code, and it comprises the entire brain work in connection with the machine. The code is so small—there are only eight combinations for letters and ten for figures—that it can be memorized in a couple of hours. It has been figured, however, that the average boy or girl, just out of school, can memorize it and read fluently in a week or two any matter that may be written on the machine.
The keys are built to fit the fingers, and as each finger has but two keys to operate, the keyboard is always under immediate control. At the top of the machine is a bar, which may be struck in conjunction with the top row of letters and with any finger. This is called the figure bar and prints an asterisk in the centre of the piece of paper on which the writing is done. The code tells that
are printed on the same line with the is taking dictation, thus having mail asterisk, they become figures instead of ready for the dictator to sign almost as letters.
fast as the dictation is finished. It has Another interesting feature of the ma been figured that four operators on the chine is the rewinder, which automatic dictating machine can do the work of ally rewinds the paper as fast as it leaves five in shorthand—a clear saving of the keys. The power generated by strik- twenty per cent. And time is money. ing the keys, or any set of keys, is also consider what this would mean in offices the power that operates the rewinder. where from twenty to a hundred, and The paper is wound upon a spool, which sometimes even as many as three hunis removable for the purpose of placing dred stenographers are employed. on the copy holder. The copy holder The dictating machine should also be is a separate contrivance designed to the means of reducing the cost of tuition facilitate the transcription of notes. By to students of shorthand very materially. pressing a key on one side of the copy Probably a quarter of a million of new holder the paper is fed forward page students are turned out by the shorthand by page, so to speak, as fast as may be schools of this country each year. As desired.
the time required to learn to use the In business offices where speed is an dictating machine should not exceed two essential factor the dictating machine weeks, while a course in shorthand may should result in a great saving of time. run anywhere from as many months to One person can transcribe while another a year—well, figure it out for yourself.
MOVING-PICTURE PEOPLE TO TALK
HEREAFTER the phonographic discs ture upon the screen. The latter is a
of popular songs will be accom- hoop of about 16-inch diameter over panied by picture-discs to illustrate them, which a piece of thin, white cloth is when the device of a California inventor drawn taut. It is attached to the flare is placed on the market. The song illus- of the horn by an adjustable bracket so trator is a very ingenious device which that the screen hangs in front of the can be attached to an ordinary talking large opening. machine and its principles may be briefly The machine shown in the accompanyexplained as follows: a disc about the ing illustration is equipped with a 16 size of a song record contains sixteen candle-power electric light and is delantern slides which are set in small cir- signed for parlor entertainment, but by cular openings near the circumference. using a more powerful light the pictures This picture-disc is adjusted so that the can be projected on a much larger screen motor of the phonograph causes it to at a distance, thus serving for use in a revolve, a couple of
hall or auditorium. inches or so at a
By using a larger time, stopping for
song-disc, fifty or a brief interval as
more slides can be each picture is
set at the circumbrought before the
ference, and it lens. The lens
would serve for adand light which are
vertising purposes. designed on the
This ingenious deprinciple of the
vice is the invenstereopticon, can
tion of a clerk in be adjusted to the
a Los Angeles ordinary type of
music store, Mr. horn, and electric
Harry Clubb, who ity, gas or kero
has spent two years sene may be used
in perfecting his into project the picTALKING MACHINE WHICH WILL ACCOMPANY
AUTO COMPETES WITH RAILROAD
parę StreAlong the
HE West is supposed to look prairie. Along this path he scraped two
evolve an idea far ahead of success. Traveling people saved both what is considered within the range of money and time as well as having one possibilities to the Eastern minds. For of the oddest trips to be had in this instance, five years ago, the East did country. Nine hours were consumed in not consider the automobile a practical making the hundred mile run and the utility, yet away down in the Southwest machines never broke down. Finally an a little, grey-eyed man sank all of his agitation was started for the route to available funds in machines and estab- carry the mail. It took as long for a lished an auto route to compete with one letter to go to Kansas City as for one of the greatest railroad systems on earth. to go to Albuquerque, and the daily His line was a success and now he not papers were two days coming through. only carries passengers but holds the The railroad naturally opposed the move, mail contract as well.
but in the fall of 1905 the mail contract It was in the summer of 1905 when a was taken from the Santa Fe and given doctor brought the first auto into the to the Roswell Auto Company. As the Pecos Valley. At Roswell, a hotel man, line connected at Torrance with the J. W. Stockard, became interested in the Rock Island and the Santa Fe Central possibilities of the machines and bought this brought the mail from the East as one. After running it around some, he well as from the West. conceived the idea of an auto line be In July, 1910, the Santa Fe finished tween Roswell and Torrance, New Mexico. At that time, in order to get from Albuquerque to Roswell, you had to go north to Trinidad, Colorado, then to Amarilla, Texas, and there you could get a train into Roswell. But by driving overland to Torránce, a hundred and five miles, you could mal-e far better connections. Stockard figured he could make money with a regular auto between the two points, Roswell and Torrance. Instead of taking the regular wagon road he set out one day with a compass and a camping outfit and staked a new
JT THE HALFWAY HOUSE. WHERE NEW DRIVER AND CAR ENTER FOR path across the rolling
their great Belen Cutoff between Belen They can make the trip between Vaughn and Clovis, and to facilitate handling and Roswell in nine hours if necessary, mail the route was changed to Vaughn and said so. Stockard said he could beat where the Santa Fe crosses the Rock nine hours so the Government did a Island. The distance was about the little figuring and called on him to make same but Stockard had to build an en- the trip in five hours flat, if he wanted tirely new road. This was easy, for by the new contract. He ran one of the this time his inventive mind had evolved cars through and set four and a half a patent road drag which broke, hours as the new schedule time. This smoothed and
means an average rolled a new road
of between twentyall in one oper
five and thirty ation.
miles an hour, The cars which
counting out the were bought when
time necessarily the line started
consumed in the were two-cylinder
slow driving in chain-drive cars of
town and on bad about twenty horse
places. However, power, and were
the cars have no used continuously
trouble making it on the line till this
though it is hard fall when three
on the drivers as new cars of the
the strain is so consame make but far
stant. The automore powerful,
mail driver cannot four cylinder, and
loll back occasioncarrying seven pas
ally as can his sengers were
brother in the enbought and put ONE OF THE SPECIAL AUTO BRIDGES IN THE DESERT.
gine-cab, for one into operation. The
second's relaxation old cars had each run a little over 130,- might mean a bad "smash.” So the 000 miles on the line, and are still in drivers and cars are changed at a lonely use around Roswell, one being the "am- ranch in the middle of the desert, thus bulance” car at the garage.
each driver makes the round trip every With the change to Vaughn came an three days. This plan too, prevents any increase in the amount of mail, in fact possibility of a passenger having to "lay so great a quantity had to be carried as out” all night in case of accident for if to necessitate the use of an extra car on a car becomes overdue at any point on many occasions. When no extra was the line the reserve car goes out to get run there was no room for passengers. it. No passenger has ever had to lay So Stockard retired to think and in due out, but there have been occasions when course the “dingle” wagon was built the mail could not get through on acThis is a little rubber-tired canvas cov- count of the deep snow. A storm which ered wagon which is hitched to the ties up the auto line also blocks the railback of the motor car with a patent road and often a storm which blocks the connection (to make it track) and in railroad does not bother the autos much which the mail and baggage is carried. for cars are running back and forth all The big machines have no trouble the time and the road is kept fairly clear. hauling this car when it carries up In the narrow washes or "arroyos" to a thousand pounds of mail, and the snow will occasionally pile up and can easily make the whole trip on the then a big home'made car called the high gear.
“Yellow Kid” is used to buck the drifts As there is something like $9,000.00 a till a way is broken through. Last winyear paid for the hauling of the mail, ter one of the drivers rammed the Kid the railroad again tried to get the con- into a drift and it took two weeks to pull tract which expired a short while back. it out,