Where do old steno machines go to die?

My old steno machine, the one I used throughout my latter years in school as well as passed the CSR exam on -- THAT ONE -- is now a relic in my closet.  It weighs about 150 lbs.  The batteries are no longer available, I'm told.  I hate to get rid of it (in a way), but I hate lugging around junk forever even more.

Any thoughts as to what I should do with my old Xscribe StenoRAM III+ ?

  • Donate it to science?
  • Donate it to a steno museum?
  • Donate it to my landfill?
  • Gut it and turn it into a flower pot?

Help me out, Everyone!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Nancy | Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I say save it. Up in the attic or garage somewhere. Someday you can pass it on to your kids as an antique....like all the things I`m keeping for you and your brothers. :-) Seriously, don`t you wish we had kept your first computer...that Commodore 64?


  Comment by Carla Richardson | Saturday, December 5, 2009
That`s funny; I have the same machine. I, too, am undecided as to what to do with it. I`ll probably do as Nancy suggested. I`ll check back periodically to see if anyone posts any other ideas. Thanks, Carla
  Comment by Todd | Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thanks for chiming in, Carla.
  Comment by katy | Sunday, January 3, 2010
That`s a hella good machine. The old Stenorams are real workhorses. I`m still using Stenoram Ultras. Fail safe, battery lasts for years, doesn`t fall over when you cross your legs, etc.
Most reliable steno machine ever made in my opinion.

  Comment by Lisa Quaglieri | Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I am looking for a machine to brush up on my skills with. Haven`t worked in the field in 13 years, and I sold my Stentura way back when. I could use a manual machine or a cheap computerized one. I may get my speed up enough to take some secretarial dictation. I`m not looking to spend more than $30.00. Does that help at all?
  Comment by Todd Olivas | Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Mine doesn`t work, so I can`t really sell it to you. Sorry!
  Comment by Aletheia James | Friday, February 12, 2010
That flowerpot idea of yours is really cute, actually. Then again, I have odd ideas about interior decorating . . . that`s the kind of nutty thing I would consider doing, except that in actuality I prefer a classic/sophisticated look in my home and a gutted steno machine as a flowerpot simply wouldn`t go!

Hmmmmm, if you have a big desk in your office or home office, it might be neat to keep it on a shelf there as a conversation piece . . . your own personal steno museum. I bet you could think of some other neat stuff to put with it to make a nifty little display.

  Comment by Lisa Quaglieri | Friday, February 12, 2010
If anyone has one for sale or knows anyone, please send me an e-mail @ leelee2464@optonline.net. Thx

  Comment by Allan Dyer | Tuesday, March 9, 2010
You can send it to/donate it to OTEC in Seattle, and we will pay the UPS ground shipping to get it here. We work on steno machines.

We can put batteries in that. We also overhaul these machines.

Lisa Quaglieri, are you looking for a Stenoram 3 or Ultra? I can help you out with that. We can also fix yours if you have one already.


OTEC in Seattle
Supporting court reporter hardware and software since 1991

  Comment by Lisa Quaglieri | Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I am really looking for a manual machine. I haven`t worked in the field in 13 years, and I still do the outlines in my head all the time. I really want to see if I can still write and read the outlines. Not looking for a heavy investment -- something very conservative. I really just want to see if it`s worth getting back into for me.
Thanks. If you know of any manual machines for sale, please let me know.

  Comment by Mary Cochran | Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I got my RPR in 1981. Hadn`t worked in reporting for 20 years. Feb 2009 got a Stenoram II. I`m doing 225 (not clean enough).

Cheap investment. Got on Digital Cat. (See the 1981) It was worth every penny.

  Comment by Carla | Tuesday, July 13, 2010
i have 3 old machines. trying to get rid of them. anyone interested email me secretc@aol.com
  Comment by Nancy | Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I`d like to see it in a clear plastic box, on display in the main office underneath the framed photo (enlarged) of the very first office space. It`s always good to see where we started and how far we`ve come. I don`t suppose you`ve got the first dollar you earned as a court reporter do you?
  Comment by Jenny Rice | Sunday, October 10, 2010
Yes maybe just save it. Maybe It will be useful in the future. But if you really don`t want to keep it just go the first option.

  Comment by laura | Monday, February 21, 2011
the national court reporting association will buy used machines, even if they don`t work. and they sell them (even manuals from the 70`s) on their site.

I have 3 antique ones, but i`m not letting go of them for their offer of only $85. The memories are more dear than that paltry sum.

  Comment by Mrs. Kette | Friday, March 18, 2011
You might like to keep it to show kids. I am sure they have never seen one and have no idea what it is or does. If not, try eBay!


  Comment by modee | Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Hi... I have a Stentura 400 SRT Electric machine that I purchased about 6 years ago but never really used. I jsut stumbled across: http://www.acculaw.com/steno-machine-questions.aspx I just got off the phone with a rep and they`re going to purchase it for $400. Not bad! They say it will probably cost about $15 for me to ship it via UPS and then they will mail me a check. Easier than I thought! I know I paid many times the amt they are buying it from me, but I can`t be lugging it around for another year. I didn`t want to deal with the hassle of selling it on eBay (where I doubt I would have received more than $400). I hope that helps!
  Comment by Bill Pieske | Friday, April 15, 2011
I started reporting in 1968 when I was still 18 years old (took machine shorthand in high school, believe it or not). Was one of the reporters in the Blue Ribbon Inquest into the Chicago Police/Black Panthers shootout in the late `60s, reported the special Grand Jury proceedings of the Chicago riots during the Democratic National Convention (remember?: The Whole World Is Watching!!). I have a 1920s vintage steno machine I`m trying to determine where it needs to go as I`ll be retiring soon (I hope). Any suggestions? Thanks
  Comment by Carol | Thursday, December 1, 2011
Dominick Tursi has started the Gallery of Shorthand, Central Islip, New York. I am a charter member. He is an amazing lecturer on the history of court reporting -- very energized and captivating -- and has many machines on display. Perhaps you would consider donating it or at least contacting him to see if he has that model. Visit his site at www.GalleryofShorthand.org and find out all about the Stenographer that stood by Lincoln`s Deathbed and so much more!
  Comment by natalie gant | Friday, December 9, 2011
I have a student writer Stentura Protege for sell. With all accessories and 1/2 carton of paper. Will sell for 700.00. Great condition!!! email me at quaheem.gant@verizon.net
  Comment by Evan | Thursday, April 26, 2012
If anyone has an old machine they willing to sell cheep please contact me. I`m looking to take classes but cant afford a new machine or used at retail prices.
  Comment by Sherrelle Johnson | Friday, May 4, 2012
I have a manual reporter steno machine with case, tripod, ink, and papertray. I am asking for $75obo. I also have court reporting books for sale for really cheap. Email me at sjscopistservices@yahoo.com
  Comment by Netta | Friday, March 22, 2013
I have a manual steno machine and would like to find Steno Mark cartridges for it. They are the red ink rollers that fit in the lid of the manual used for making hot spots on the paper. Anyone have any?
  Comment by Connie | Thursday, June 6, 2013
I have a Stenoram II, the old workhorse of the industry. I haven`t reported since 1999 and have moved all over the country with this thing. It needs to be tuned up, maybe a new battery, but it works. Deluxe stand, soft-sided case, charger, cable. If anyone is interested, shoot me an email and put shorthand in the subject line...conmaze@aol.com

  Comment by Kim | Friday, June 21, 2013
I have an OLD (green) manual Stenograph with tripod and LOTS (15+) of books just collecting dust. Anyone interested? Make an offer by email to kschmittling@yahoo.com if interested.
  Comment by Tiffany Sykes | Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Like new Stentura 400 SRT ** Bought for $875 selling for $700 , Price is negotiable !

Machine is 3 months old , Includes ....

-soft-sided carrying case
-easy lock tripod
-paper tray
-ribbon cartridge
-Allen wrench
-AC adapter
-real time cable kit
-stentura maintenance kit
-users guide
Feel free to email or Text me (909) 543-2209 if you have any questions! :)

  Comment by Sue | Sunday, December 15, 2013
Three old computer steno machines for free, StenoRam II and something else which I can`t find the name on, it is computerized though. I used one of the Ram II`s about 4 years ago, but think it stopped working. I don`t know about the other two. Glad to give them away but shipping charges on whoever wants them. All have hard cases, tripods, paper trays. Contact me if interested. secondsmf@yahoo.com. I live in South Jersey.
  Comment by Margaret | Sunday, March 2, 2014
Speaking of older machines for sale...I have two, both manual. One 1970s vintage with hard shell case and tripod, also in case. The other one is pre-World War II vintage in an old suitcase-type case.

If anyone has any interest, please e-mail me at booksandmorebooks@verizon.net for more details.


  Comment by Ginger | Sunday, March 16, 2014
Probably Turn it to a flower pot! LOL


  Comment by Mel Power | Tuesday, July 1, 2014
They make great trotline weights.
  Comment by Estella | Friday, August 29, 2014
This is an easy question:

Sell it on Ebay as `collectible` `Vintage` or RARE!!.

  Comment by Stan | Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Just take it to a citizen`s collection site where they take old TV`s, computers, and other electronic stuff or toss it in the blue bin.
  Comment by nbauman | Friday, October 3, 2014
My neighbor is a charming retired court stenographer, and today she showed me her old Stenograph Steno-Lectric machine, which was made around 1970.

The paper feed doesn`t work and I was trying to figure out how to fix it. It may well be that all it requires is routine cleaning.

Surprisingly I couldn`t find anything on the Internet about how to fix stenotype machines, or even the user`s guide (although I did find this fascinating site).

I could start taking it it apart, but I wonder whether there`s some simple thing to check.

If I can fix it, at least we`ll have a working doorstop.

  Comment by Jean Fairlie | Friday, November 28, 2014
I have a vintage Stenograph machine..Says Standard Model on it and it has been in a case for the last at least 40 years. I would like to sell it...it works, too! Please advise the value if anyone knows. It was given to me and it is probably 60 years old or older.

  Comment by Roy Morris Anderson | Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I have an old Stenograph machine. It has Stenotrype on top of the lid that removes so that you can get to the ribbon. It has a double spool ribbon, much like the old typewriters had. Inside the lid portion is written The Stenotype OO, Michigan Ave, At 41st St, Chicago, Illinois. On the front of the machine there is a name, J. M. Sager. I guess he was the owner of the machine. Can you tell me when it was manufactured? Is it of any value?
  Comment by Ann Ryan | Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Ok here`s one for you... I have an old Stenoprompter (stenographic record holder, wooden with electronic foot pedal that pulled the notes typed on a steno machine by a court reporter, I transcribed for in the early 80s). Any value to anyone? Apparently Clyde Drasher patented in 1956.
  Comment by Douglas V. Franks | Monday, December 7, 2015
Put a bow on it, and put it under the tree. As a gift to your younger years. If you liked that for, the new year post a video of how to clean above said machine. For all of us that need a refresher course.
  Comment by Cindy Foley | Sunday, December 20, 2015
I am looking for a Stenoprompter to run paper notes through that I have to rewrite and transcribe from a six-day trial that happened 20 years ago. PLEASE let me know if you have one you would be willing to sell me!!
  Comment by Garras | Friday, December 25, 2015
It is very easy to dispose of it or use it again. So what if they don`t make battery packs for this anymore? Simply take a dremel with a tiny bit to gouge plastic.
I made one out of an old drill bit by grinding it to a small diameter at the end, not quite a point then I flattened the tip like a jeweler`s screwdriver. At high speed this is great for removing plstic little by little just don`t let it build up or it will make the cut too wide.
Then carefully go around the edge where it won`t be seen to remove plastic and free the face of the battery that faces the inside of the machine. Once this is free and you can take out the cells, go to the battery store and have them make a new battery. Just make sure to make a video or take a photo of which side is + and which is -. Check for proper polarity when you get it back before you stick it back into the machine as they may hook it up backwards causing total damage to the board. Your machine is good as new. See: STENTURA 8000 BATTERY CELL REPLACEMENT on youtube to see what I mean. This cat had to make some exploratory cuts which made it look bad but it works just fine and doesn`t fall out of the machine.

  Comment by Saleema | Sunday, December 27, 2015
Hello everyone,

My name is Saleema and I am looking for a steno writer that someone may have that will consider donating to me. I am on a fixed income and would like to continue my studies at home. Thank you kindly!


  Comment by Chris Dehmelt | Sunday, March 6, 2016
Hi Saleema,

My father was a stenographer back in the 70s who continued to do some contract work into the 2000s. He recently passed away and I have two machines, one with the tripod, along with about 50 packets of paper. Have no real use for these items and would like to give to someone who has use.

Let me know if you would want.


Chris Dehmelt

  Comment by Robert A. | Monday, July 11, 2016
I still have my Stenoram III and have worked with it every day for the past 10 years doing rapid-text entry of medical records up until a month ago when everything went to speech recognition and offshored to India. Now I`m torn between practicing again to become good enough for depos or pursue closed captioning skills and then upgrade. But this machine is a true WORKHORSE for sure!! Got it brand new in 1992 to do real-time depos with my Cheetah TurboCAT software. Its reliability track record speaks for itself!! :)

Also, I still have my XScribe monitor/editing station from 1984 when I first got into being computerized. My Stenograph paper notes were optically read at the XScribe center and then I would edit them at home and print the transcript on my NOISY daisy wheel printer. My neighbors hated me. LOL But that, I`m keeping for posterity`s sake of the early days of THE WAY WE WERE and the ongoing computerized evolution that was underway and continues to this day. :)

  Comment by Danni | Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I am no longer court reporting, and I have several pieces of equipment I`d like to sell. First, I have an Elan Mira G2 with lots of accessories. Second, I have my school machine which is a Stentura 400 electric. Last, I have Eclipse software which I`m still paying the lease on. I`m trying to find someone who would want to take over the lease. You would be getting the software for significantly cheaper because I`ve already paid about $2,000 of it. The disc in the box is still brand new. I`ve never used it because I was able to upgrade from the student version to the pro version from the Eclipse website when I first started leasing.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in any of these items, please email me at d_danni_c@yahoo.com.

  Comment by frank | Thursday, January 5, 2017
Court Reporter Equipment withe student textbooks.
Stentura 400srt typing machine w/stand, paper holder, cord, case.
Sten Ed Realtime Theory text, Sten Ed Reader text, Sten Ed Professional Dictionary text,
Sten Ed Dictionary of Briefs text, Sten Ed Theory-audio lessons 1-2 CD.
28 pads of Steno paper and one Micro Recorder $1,100 value---$450 CASH
PHONE- (248) 546-6538

  Comment by Cassie | Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Stumbled upon this blog. What did you end up doing with the old machine?
  Comment by Nancy Ambrose | Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Help! Looking everywhere for stentura 8000 ribbon cartridge or two! They`ve been discontinued, makes no sense. Thanks. Nancy Ambrose pinzo1715@gmail.com
  Comment by Anna | Friday, May 12, 2017
I have an old reporter stenograph machine that i am looking to sell for $100. It is manual and comes with paper, a tripod, and a case. It works and is in excellent condition. I bought it off Etsy.com but I could not reach the keys with my fingers :( The seller did not accept returns and now I`m stuck with it. Please contact me at steelyanna100(at) g mail (dot) com if you are interested.

  Comment by Kim | Saturday, June 17, 2017
I have a manual machine with a hard case, tripod, ink, and oil that I would like to give away to someone. Can`t bring myself to just toss it away...or turn it into a flower pot if you`ve read the blog from the beginning. The ribbon has dried out, so it needs servicing if you plan to use it. I can send photos of the machine itself via email. You pay for shipping and it`s yours. Email me at oobie43@yahoo.com if interested.
  Comment by Adrienne | Monday, June 26, 2017
I have two stenotype machines in their cases from the 1920`s. Anyone know if their worth anything? Thanks!
  Comment by Cheryl Perkins | Tuesday, July 25, 2017
I have a StenoRam Ultra I`d like to get rid of and trying to figure out if people actually buy them, or I`d donate it as well if I had a source.

  Comment by Marcia Rowell | Tuesday, August 15, 2017
I have two ancient machines that I`d like to donate. Anyone interested? Both are Stenograph model, one is vintage 1972 and the other one is maybe vintage 1960`s. Not been used in decades. I got out of the business in 1977.
  Comment by LYNETTE WALDEN | Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Hi everyone,
This is unimaginable and great!!

Currently, Off from terrible work injury for past two and half years.
Looking to start contract caption or steno transcription. Finally, ready to go!!! . Time to get back in legal arena, but on disability retirement. Anyone willing to donate a working steno machine? Greatly appreciated. Thanks
Please use contact email, lwalden41@gmail.com.

  Comment by Mark Crossley | Friday, October 13, 2017
I think all machines are worth saving (and collecting). Heck, I have three INFINITY machines (one is a student model that I use for my online CART work), a LIGHTSPEED (absolutely FANTASTIC for running from class-to-class), a CYBRA (still a great workhorse; that is now a back-up), a SOFT/HRUF (Scott Urueta), and a Treal (I call the Clacker). And my manual machine that makes me nostalgic, going back oh-too-many years. I do about 40 hours of CART work a week as a certified CART provider, and 32 hours a week as a court-certified (RID/SC:L) American Sign Language interpreter. I love being busy and probably would have a few more machines -- heck, I have Eclipse, DigitalCAT, and Case CATalyst (earlier versions) AND Plover (Mirabai Knight, NYC). I love steno and love what I do. I don`t have a StenoRAM. But... kidding. I plan on donating to a local court reporting school -- did donate my two Baron Transcriptor Xs... amazing (although very heavy) machines. And when I go home to that steno-heaven in the sky, my wife will give them the whole kit and caboodle. Hard decision to make, keep it or give it away. You can sell it on Ebay or sell it to Stenoworks or give it to the places mentioned here.
  Comment by Wayne | Thursday, April 5, 2018
Interesting discussion/time-traveling session....
Iím not a court reporter. I wrote some of the firmware for the Stenoram products back in the late 1980s. It was my first real software engineering job, having just graduated from UCSD.

If anyone is curious about Xscribe circa 1988, feel free to drop me a note (Wayne at Elecraft dought kom).

  Comment by Tony | Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Hello Mr. Olivas,

Looking for part to and old Stentura 8000. If you know of anyone who has new or slightly used parts I would love to know.



  Comment by Bob | Monday, August 19, 2019
could be useful as a stage or film prop. I`ma community theater director/designer, we`re always looking for artifacts` to help enhance the reality we`re working for....
  Comment by Sheryl Hilton Meyer | Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Just found this blog as I was looking for info on the court reporting seminar that`s coming up in September 2019 and I see you`ve thought about giving away your writer from way back. By chance is that the one i gave you all those years ago and you don`t still cherish it (lol)??????
  Comment by JSchulz | Sunday, October 27, 2019
Haha I still use my Stenoram III in court! It`s old but it still does the job. You can get parts and batteries for it. It`s actually better than some of the newer paper writers that have cartridges rather than a ribbon, b/c they`re not making cartridges anymore and people with those machines have to open the cartridge and try to reink ribbon manually -- a really messy job. My machine writes to a disk, which I read through an external floppy drive into my Eclipse software. Works like a charm. Yes, I know I`m a dinosaur, but if it ain`t broke, don`t fix it. I will be retiring in a few years, so no need to spend more money on equipment at this point. If you still have your writer, you could sell it on Ebay or in a Facebook group for parts.

  Comment by Vee | Wednesday, December 18, 2019
OMG XSCRIBE needed ASCII DISKS how to format? Where to get them from? 29yrs & need an ASCII DISK ASAP Ft Lauderdale figr8v@yahoo.com
  Comment by Valerie Jackson | Sunday, January 12, 2020
I am selling a Stentura 8000. Would be a great student machine if schools still require paper read backs. Has original manual. Looking to sell. Many extras. If interested email veejaye57.vj@gmail.com.

  Comment by Patti Schrader | Friday, September 11, 2020
Looking to sell my Stentura 8000LX. Great condition, comes with a like-new black Pathfinder case, on wheels. Plus more extras. Will consider donating it to a court reporting school.

  Comment by Shacre Norris | Friday, October 16, 2020
Hi I am indeed of a Steno Machine. I`m taking court reporting
At Greenriver Community College. Lilly201319@gmail.com

  Comment by Donna Lange | Saturday, May 15, 2021
I have 3 manual stenographs for sale. All prior to CAT.

- One is 1980. Light tan color. With case.
- One is approximately 1950s. Black with case.
- One is vintage. I estimate one of earliest made. Black with case.

Contact me at:
email: 2dlange2@gmail.com

  Comment by Cindy Kammer | Monday, April 11, 2022
I have one manual Stenograph. I have the stand and black case. Actually have paper for it also. can reach me at

  Comment by M. L. Azeverdo | Monday, August 21, 2023
I have a stenotype from late 1950ís I would like to pass on
To someone or an organization.

  Comment by Kelda James | Friday, September 22, 2023
Regarding the old stenotype that you are wanting to rehome (M. L. Azeverdo), is it still available? Kelda

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