In 1837 Isaac Pitman published Stenographic Sound-Hand in London at the press of Samuel Bagster, introducing Pitman shorthand, a shorthand system for the English language. Pitman's first pamphlet on the system, issued in London by Samuel Bagster, a publisher of bibles and related books on religion, consisted of only 11 pages and two lithographed plates. In contrast to previous shorthand writing systems, which were mostly orthographic, or based on short-cuts in spelling, Pitman's system was mostly phonetic.
In the 1840s Pitman offered instruction in his shorthand system by correspondence course. This was the first widely adopted practice of distance education, responsible, to a large extent, for the successful dissemination of Pitman's system.