Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting


“You could pick a quill from the wing feathers (penna in Latin means feather) of geese, turkeys, ravens (which could draw the finest lines), or (for the wealthy) swans.”

“The trouble with quill pens is that they lasted only about a week–for a compulsive scribbler, a mere day or two.”

“Gothic came to be known as blackletter because a page of it was essentially a black sea of ink.”

“….Giambattista Palatino, who is considered by many to be the greatest calligrapher who ever lived, and Ludovico Vicentino Arrighi, who created the first printed handwriting manual in 1522….”

“The Italic (a term that honors its Italian origins) or ‘secretary hand’ (i.e. used by clerks) emerged towards the end of the fifteenth century.”

“For Puritans and other reformers…the scripts favored in Europe were too elaborate, too baroque…. and the plain and easy script known as copperplate (or roundhand) was devised as an alternative. By the 18th century, roundhand–so-called because it was structured on the shape of the letter O–was in wide use.”

“The first successful fountain pen arrived in 1897, Conklin’s rather bulky Crescent-Filler, which required the user to depress, then release, a raised half-moon to begin the ink flow.”

some quotes I found interesting from Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey

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