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  1. Hi Everyone.... I wanted to share this with you. I recently found this unique diploma / document. It was among a bunch of military documents. See attached photo of "W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company, Fort Madison, Iowa; This is to certify that John R. Hynes has successfully completed the factory course in fountain pen and writing equipment service and salesmanship as outlined by the officers and executives of the Company. For Madison, Iowa, this 11th day of Nov. 1947. Gold seal with ribbons and signed by Sheaffer, president.
  2. Firstly, I just joined, So, hi there. I been thinking about nibmeisters for sometime now and I have some queries with regards to that, 1, Where do they come from? Where do they get trained for the art, is there a school for nib grinders and pen restorers? Or are they all downsized former employees of FP manufacturing companes who have come out to ply their trade outside. If yes, what with so many smaller companies shutting shop of late due to poor interest and demand, will we one day be left without nibmeisters to approach in times of distress? Or, are they coming from a long line of nibmeister lineage in whose heritage rests the arcane secrets of nib grinding and filing, Passed on from father to son and so forth for all eternity? Or, are they aliens from outerspace who try to emancipate mankind into super-concsciousness by promoting and modifying FPs? You see, not many nibmeisters around in India. I'd like to contact this alien group to check if they have missed us somehow. [should this be in 'Repair and Q&A? Please move it there if it should, I was not sure.]
  3. Greetings. I’m interested in picking up and becoming proficient with both a form of cursive and non-cursive. While my goals are largely aesthetic, I want to avoid sacrificing speed and efficiency in the long term, though I understand their loss is unavoidable during the initial training phase. At the moment, I have my heart set out on J. Pickering’s Practical Book Hand, but am unsure as to which style of cursive I would like to pursue; Spencerian and Business Hand, which are so frequently recommended, are unfortunately not to my taste. If I had to pick right now, I’d likely go with a form of Simple Modern italic cursive. Now that that’s out of the way, I’m interested in finding out what training approach is most widely recommended and why. I understand that aesthetically pleasing writing comes from consistent letterforms and consistent spacing between and around both individual letters and whole words. However, I figure there are four ways to train: 1) trace over the letter forms from a suitable exemplar of the hand; 2) practice reproducing the letterforms while occasionally regarding the exemplar, perhaps using paper with guidelines of some sort until you get used to the size and potential slant of each letter; 3) practice producing lines, circles, and ovals of correct slant and proportion relative to the hand of interest, before moving on to one of the other approaches; and 4) writing complete words and sentences in the hand, while aiming for the aforementioned consistency. I imagine approach 4 would not be recommended as a starting point, which leaves me with the first three. If using approach 2 or 3, which I know is often recommend at least at some stage of development, I figure I’d need sheets with guidelines on them specific to my hand. While several of the more popular styles have them premade, I don’t believe Practical Book Hand does. What approach would one take in generating these sheets as someone who has never studied penmanship with any seriousness before? Apologies for the size of the post, but thanks in advance for any responses.

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