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Demise of penmanship (1867 prediction)

While reading a book on the development and early history of the typewriter (Richard N. Current, "The Typewriter and the Men Who Made It"), I came across the following passage from 'Scientific American' magazine for July 6, 1867, as contained in an article in that magazine reporting on the description of a "Type Writing Machine":

"The subject of type writing is one of the interesting aspects of the near future. Its manifest feasibility and advantage indicate that the laborious and unsatisfactory performance of the pen must sooner or later become obsolete for general purposes. 'Printed copy' will become the rule, not the exception, for compositors, even on original papers like the 'Scientific American'. Legal copying and the writing and delivery of sermons and lectures, not to speak of letters and editorials, will undergo a revolution as remarkable as that effected in books by the invention of printing, and the weary process of learning penmanship in schools will be reduced to the acquirement of the art of writing one's own signature and playing on the literary piano above described, or rather on its improved successors."

Meanwhile, I continue daily to practice my Spencerian penmanship.
 
If they could only see us now. I was actually reading an article about this topic earlier today. Some proponents of bringing handwriting back to schools are citing that once cursive writing is totally gone from the curriculum, people will lose the ability to read it, therefore losing the ability to interpret hand written documents from the past. They are also working on a link between children practicing handwriting and fine motor skill development.
 
I am fond of my "literary piano" as they call it, a 50's Underwood.

In the eighties I heard W.O. Mitchell lament the decline of writing because of the word processor. His point was that the new technology made authors' "finished" works noticeably less coherent and concise than works produced with the typewriter, which was his chosen instrument.

Interesting how we gain appreciation of the value of what we do when we seem to be on the cusp of changing forever.

My penmanship is pretty shabby, but I am glad I can write fluidly if not prettily with a pen. It does put the mind in a different mode.
 
I spent most of my adult life as a law enforcement officer. I printed everything in caps. It was legible by all and I'm sure prevented problems, but now I'm retired. I love my fountain pens but I'm having to re-learn cursive; I admire those who can do it well.
 

August West

Moderator Emeritus
I spent most of my adult life as a law enforcement officer. I printed everything in caps. It was legible by all and I'm sure prevented problems, but now I'm retired. I love my fountain pens but I'm having to re-learn cursive; I admire those who can do it well.
I spent most of my adult life hoping you guys would fill out my tickets with such poor penmanship the judge would throw them out on a technicality.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
I spent most of my adult life as a law enforcement officer. I printed everything in caps. It was legible by all and I'm sure prevented problems, but now I'm retired. I love my fountain pens but I'm having to re-learn cursive; I admire those who can do it well.
I wrote in all caps for almost 30 years. Thanks to the Nib, my print and cursive is improving.
 
I had an english teacher that encouraged us to write in a daily journal, even if it was a just a couple lines. I can see what he was getting at. :wink2:
 
I spent most of my adult life as a law enforcement officer. I printed everything in caps. It was legible by all and I'm sure prevented problems, but now I'm retired. I love my fountain pens but I'm having to re-learn cursive; I admire those who can do it well.
For the last 13 years I have done exactly the same, now I have been given a hand held data machine and remote printer, handwritten tickets and personal notebooks are gone from my force.
 
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