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    Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.

   I hope you're finding some of these dictated materials informative although the information, being from older shorthand books, may be somewhat out of date. Nevertheless, I believe the pratice on this kind of material is helpful in building your shorthand vocabulary and increasing your ability to construct outliens for less-standard words.

Speed Building Simplified, One-Year Course, The Gregg Publishing Company, 1951, p  117-119.

Iron

            It began with a blast furnace in a little town in Massachusetts in 1643.  So important did the colonists consider this enterprise that its twenty-seven officers and workmen were officially exempted from “taxation, military service, and watching for Indians.”
            A later plant, the Sterling Iron Works of Orange County, New York, made history in the Revolution by producing and forging two chains that stretched across the Hudson just below West Point.  Each link in the larger chain weighed 100 pounds and was 2 feet long.  The whole chain was 500 yards in length.  This chain succeeded in preventing penetration of the upper reaches of the river by the British Fleet.  Thus it contributed to the victory at Saratoga.
            Our iron and steel industry has constantly been expanding.  Since January 1, 1900, it has produced well over two billion tons.  It took twenty-nine years to turn out the first billion.  Eighteen years were enough for the second billion.  The third billion is expected to require an even shorter period.  Much of the course of our future economic history depends on iron.
            Today, the United States can produce more steel than the rest of the world put together.  There are iron and steel plants in twenty-seven of our states.  One-fourth of our entire population lives in steelmaking communities.
            Today our steelmaking furnaces can make as much steel in an hour as was produced in an entire year during the Civil War.  In fact, almost 40 percent of all the jobs provided by the nation’s industries are created by the manufacture and use of steel.
            It must be borne in mind, for example, that a modern farm of 150 acres requires some 20 tons of steel for fencing, plows, tractors, and other machinery just to keep it in operation.  Almost 4 tons of steel go into the construction and equipment of a typical small home.  Most of these items are so commonplace that their connection with the iron and steel industry is given little thought.  But such a house requires 440 pounds of nails.  Another 2 tons go into radiators, a boiler, plumbing lines, sinks, etc.
            Today there are 14,500 pounds of iron and steel for every person in this country.  This is four times the amount in use in 1900.  If history repeats—and it gives every promise of doing so—the year 2000 will see this nation with four times its present steel capacity.  Steel has been and will be the barometer of our industrial progress.

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Instructions for Self-Dictation Practice:
    Copy and paste the above article into a word-processing document, using double or triple spacing and 12- or 14-pitch type.
    As always, be sure to check your shorthand dictionary for correct outlines before "drilling"!

Dictation Practice:
    Note that the material was counted and recorded for dictation at 100; all other speeds were copied from the 100 take and electronically adjusted and may therefore sound unusual.

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Gregg Shorthand Pitman Shorthand Speedwriting Shorthand