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An American idea (sort of…)

From The Phonetic Journal, January 1, 1887 —

© 2020 – 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Set to the tune of Greensleeves, “The Old Year Now Away Is Fled” dates to as early as 1642. It was a common practice to set lyrics to familiar melodies, and Greensleeves, which dates to the 1500s, was a popular melody. The version I present retains the chord structure of the tune, but the melody is new.

Most people think of Greensleeves as a Christmas carol, but originally it was a romance: “Alas, my love, you do me wrong, to cast me off discourteously.” (See my version at the bottom of the post.) In 1865, William Chatterton Dix wrote a poem called “The Manger Throne,” and shortly after its publication, someone set three stanzas of the poem to the tune of Greensleeves. “What Child Is This?” remains a popular carol to this day.

“The Old Year Now Away Is Fled” is both religious and festive. Some lines relate the story of Christ, others champion the right of friends to imbibe “good liquor.” ‘Tis no shame!

To all, I say, “God send us a happy New Year! Happy 2020!”

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© 2020, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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An American Caligraph in Paris

The junior partner is an Englishman born in Paris, selling the American-made Caligraph. From The Shorthand Review, September 1893 —

© 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Typewriters on terms: 1893

A typewriter trust was established in 1893, combining the major manufacturers: Remington, Smith-Premier, Yost and the American Writing Machine Company (maker of the Caligraph). With control of production, the trust’s aim was to maintain a price of around $100 per machine, a steep price in the late 1800s. The following is a “leaked” internal document of the trust, presented by a stenographic journal. It is apparent from this document that the trust wanted sales, not sales on terms. Nevertheless…

From Frank Harrison’s Shorthand Magazine (Boston), July 1893 –

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© 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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All he wanted for Christmas was a typewriter…

From The Typewriter and Phonographic World (New York), May 1903 –

Merry Christmas, all!

© 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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