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Hello! I haven't been around FPN lately, but I do pop in and lurk on occasion.


I'm hoping that you all can give me a hand here (pun intended!). I'm currently working on some fan fiction for _Alias Smith and Jones_, and I got curious as to what the fellows' handwriting might have looked like. Heyes and Curry were born roughly 1850 - 1852, so I'm assuming that they would have learned manuscript penmanship in school about 1860.


Since this would have been in the Midwest/frontier, say Kansas, my thought is that the school script they were taught would have been from a somewhat earlier time as schools on the prairie would not have had "all the latest" materials to use.


I don't really intend to learn to write that way, but I'd like an idea of what it would have looked like, or what copy books were used in that period, so that I can find a script font that looks similar to use for letters written by the guys in the story I'm working on.


Many thanks to my fellow FPNers!


Addendum: I did find the IAMPETH site, and have looked at the books and materials from the mid-19th century. What boggles my mind is the highly flourished and ornamental capitals that are characteristic of Spencerian script. Teachers really taught that style to dozens of seven- and eight-year-olds in a one-room schoolhouse on the frontier? Little children in those one-room schools had flexible dip nibs? Clearly they went to school on a different planet than I did. Was there a standard school script of that period that didn't have all the ruffles and flourishes, comparable, say to the Vere Foster script in England?

Edited by 2GreyCats

"What the space program needs is more English majors." -- Michael Collins, Gemini 10/Apollo 11

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If you were a male and going into business, you were taught the fancy script with flourishes and flex. Tradesmen, farm hands, and women were taught a simpler hand, very much like the hand we were taught in school.


Here is an example of the common, non-business hand of the time:



Edited by Paddler

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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