The New International Encyclopædia/Pitman, Benn

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PIT'MAN, Benn (1822—). An American stenographer and artist, born at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, the younger brother of Isaac Pitman (q.v.). He came to the United States in 1853, and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the same year. He at first published his brother's shorthand textbooks, giving him credit for the system; but in 1857, when Isaac and his co-laborers made certain changes in the system, he refused to adopt them. During the Civil War he did some official reporting for the Government, and afterwards devoted himself to professional reporting until 1873. Pitman's artistic instinct, which had manifested itself in many ways, found distinct expression in 1873, when he became connected with the Cincinnati School of Design as teacher of descriptive art in its various phases, and especially of wood carving. In this latter field he introduced what has since become known as the ‘Pitman School of Wood Carving,’ which provides for the treatment of naturalistic designs and admits of very beautiful effects in wood sculpture. Although he abandoned his formal connection with the Cincinnati School of Design in 1877, he continued to do more or less art work, and his influence as an artist came to be considerable, particularly throughout the middle West.