Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cursive love

I've been swept up in life so much this past week or so it isn't even funny. No blogging for me. I have been working on my skirt, though, so that's been good.

I have read a few articles online lately that make it sound like cursive handwriting is on it's way to becoming extinct. What with the HUGE role of computers and texting in our life, it's almost not even necessary. Some schools are even deciding that it's not worth it to teach to kids.

Now, I know cursive was a pain to learn as a second-grader. And I know my handwriting has gotten really bad lately since I hardly ever use it. But I can't imagine not learning it at all! How would we sign checks (probably also becoming extinct, lol), or write love notes or read old documents?

Today I want to show you a cool historic artifact from the days when cursive was in its prime. In the past, having nice handwriting was an important skill, and people would take classes to learn proper penmanship. The "Modern Commercial Penmanship" book in the photo below belonged to my great-aunt and contains 60 different penmanship lessons that detail each pen-stoke as well as the practice routines necessary to have beautiful writing. There is no copyright date, but I would guess this book was used around 1910-1920.

modern commercial penmanship

modern commercial penmanship

I love this book because reading it is such a peek into the past.


And the little quips and quotes are so fun.

"Easy to execute and easy to read."

Easy to execute and easy to read.

"Time and try are twin requisites."

Time and try are twin requisites.

"Practice penmanship for profit."

Practice penmanship for profit.

Some other sayings I found throughout the book:
"Keeping everlastingly at it."
"Many littles make a much."
"Winning good writing day by day."
"Zest and zeal are sure to win."
"Better begin to build better habits."
"Check it over and check the error."

Some good advice for all of us, I'm sure.
(and a good reminder that it never hurts to know how to write pretty!)


  1. What a cool piece - I approve - as an English teacher I just love this

  2. Thanks to computers, I find it sad to think that my great-grandchildren will not know cursive writing or read from books.

  3. I love your blog, (I am really Mike's wife, Sarah) and I read it from time to time - every few months, hoping to be inspired to do something creative by you and to find the time to do it! I also love your writing style.


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