Isaac Pitman (Trowbridge’s most famous son) invented the worldwide-used system of shorthand, with a bronze plaque on the town hall commemorating him. Born in 1813, Isaac was the son of a textile-worker and, on leaving school, he worked in local woollen mills until he was 19. He then left to train as a schoolmaster in London. After four years’ teaching in Lincolnshire, he returned south to take up a post at Wotton-under-Edge. Here, in 1837, he produced his first publication on his shorthand system – Stenographic Sound Hand.