There was some consolation in being thwarted in my attempt to dive down the rabbit hole. After H.G. dropped in and we had seen The Rise of the Silver Surfer - great fun for you Marvel fans, you'll howl at Stan Lee's cameo ... in fact I heard a rumor he's planning on retiring from Marvel and running for president as an independent - he proudly produced two books.
Gregg Shorthand Manual was the 1904 revision of the 1902 text with plates actually written by Gregg. The astounding thing is the consistency of the system with later versions. Clearly by the turn of the last century Gregg had solidified into what it was to be for decades.
The Gregg Reporter, published in 1909, again demonstrated the consistency of Dr. Gregg's concept.
I should add that considering their publication dates, these books are in fine condition - tight binding, and like someone's 100-year-old grandmother, slight yellowing.
So I've had opportunity to compare the 1904, 1916, 1929, 1949 manuals in detail. My candid advice to any beginner who has the time is to go with 1929 ... the Anniversary Manual is better laid out than its precedents and conveys the rules clearly. Another selling point is that there is an overabundance of supplementary exercise and reading books graded to match the lessons in the manual. (Although I've been surprised to discover the quantity of supplemental material available for earlier editions.
Someone wrote me that he actually believes one's preference for the version: Pre-Anniversary, Anniversary, Simplified or DJS is based upon the version originally learned. I suspect he was correct as I really have an aversion to the "o" and "u" hook joinings in DJS since I always learned to neatly tuck them in between the consonants. Ah well, there's a version of Gregg for everyone. Happy writing!
(by jrganniversary for everyone)