Sir Isaac Pitman
I think my mother wrote shorthand. I remember her scrawling, at a breathless pace, what appeared to be unintelligible marks on stenographers paper. It was gibberish then, and it is gibberish now. But stunning in its economy and gesture. These two pages are a perfect example of Pitman Shorthand, popular in the UK, and second only to Gregg Shorthand in the US. Gregg Shorthand is far less compelling, and even a little boring, because of the uniform thickness of the line. For more information on the Pitman method, go here. Images from here.