100 Objects

‘The Art of Penmanship’

Written for parents and teachers, this booklet, published in 1819 by writing master James Carver, explained the principles of cursive writing “with an elegant hand.” The principles of geometric distance and proportion were explained and illustrated as well as movement, pressure and holding of the pen, how to make a pen from a gander’s quill and “on the position of sitting to the writing table.” Recently, penmanship classes were dropped when Common Core educational standards were crafted, but some states are fighting to restore cursive instruction.

Alice Burroughs is a volunteer for the Washington County Historical Society.

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