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Fun Facts About Cursive

Fun Facts About Cursive

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• Cursive writing evolved from the Italic calligraphy hand.

• Few early Americans could write, but those who did used Roundhand, also known as Copperplate because it was used in engraving.

• The Declaration of Independence is written in Roundhand. So is the New York Yankees' script logo.

• Handwriting was not taught to the general public in America until about the middle of the 19th century, when free public schooling became available.

• Children learned to read first, then learned cursive.

• Printing wasn't taught in school until the 1940s.

• Beautiful penmanship was a valuable job skill because until the mid-1920s, all business correspondence as well as legal and government documents were written in longhand.

• One of the most famous master penmen was Platt Rogers Spencer (1800-1864), who founded a school to teach his ornate, elegant style. Spencerian Script flourished from 1850 to 1925 and is still seen today in the logos for Ford and Coca-Cola.

• As the typewriter became more widely used for business letters, Spencerian Script was replaced by the less ornate, faster-written Palmer Hand, the script learned by Baby Boomers.

• Today's schoolchildren learn D'Nealian manuscript, invented in 1978 along with D'Nealian block printing. The method is designed to ease the transition from printing to cursive.

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