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Whirling Dervish Penmanship

Primary schools today don’t teach the old methods of penmanship. If they teach handwriting at all, I’m not sure what to call it; 21st-century cursive looks a lot like it was  scribbled by a species that forgot it had opposable thumbs (there’s probably an app for that). Anyway, I admire vintage writing books and marvel at the way “the perfect hand” was taught. This is one in an occasional Daily Heller series on the-art-of-writing exercise texts.

You all know about the historic Palmer Method. I recently found The Champion Method for cursive writing. This is the 1911 version of “The New Barnes” method, from the A.S. Barnes Company, which published textbooks under the “Library for Teachers” imprint. Note the emphasis on whirling and swirling. Now that’s when penmanship was not just fun, it was an accomplishment. It was also necessary for writing checks and sending thank-you notes.

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