8 Impressive & Historic Handwriting Facts
In this day and age, we tend to take handwriting for granted. We think of it as effortless…almost instinctive, and as a result, we forget about handwriting’s awe-inspiring benefits.
Think about it for a second: handwriting has helped us, as people, declare independence, create inspiring fictional worlds, and express (publically or privately) our personal thoughts and dreams. It’s all pretty amazing. So, hopefully these 8 facts will help you become awestruck with the magic of handwriting once again.
1. In the beginning…
Around 3200 B.C.E the Sumerian’s developed the earliest form of systematic writing, known as Cuneiform. Although it underwent many derivations, this system was used for roughly more than three millennia.
2. Cracking the Code
For centuries, Egyptians adorned historic temples, walls, and stones with Hieroglyphics (or “sacred writing”). But it wasn’t until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone that the Hieroglyphic code was cracked. Such an accomplishment unlocked many of the Egyptian teachings that we now know today.
3. Creating the Tools of the Trade
Before Pentel, the quill was the writing utensil of choice. More commonly created using goose feathers, the quill pen was instrumental in drafting several historic documents, including the Magna Carta. And even though the quill is no longer a popular instrument, it still holds symbolic importance as the Supreme Court still places 20 quill pens on the counsel tables before each session.
4. What’s A Pen Without the Ink?
Handwriting and pens rely on one thing: ink. Without ink, the very existence of pens and handwriting would be in jeopardy. But thankfully the Egyptians and Chinese developed ink around 2500 B.C.E. as a result of needing something more fluid than a chisel.
5. Teaching Our Future
In the 19th century, handwriting/penmanship began being taught in public schools using the Palmer Method. This method was seen as optimal for children since it used arm movement to write instead of fingers, and therefore was easier to perform. However, the Palmer Method would be supplanted in the 1950s when the education system thought it was best to teach children print writing before cursive.
6. From Hand to Fingertips
Speaking of handwriting in schools, there is a current movement to omit cursive from school curriculum in favor of typing. But this could prove unfavorable to our future generations as handwriting helps cognitive development and makes learning easier for children, as demonstrated in this great infographic.
7. The Grandfather of Font
We’ve all seen what the Declaration of Independence looks like in our history books, but do you know who is responsible for the actual writing? It’s from the hand of Timothy Matlack. Matlack’s perfect penmanship was not only responsible for drafting historic documents of the past, but for also inspiring many digital fonts used today, such as American Scribe, Declaration Script, and National Archive.
8. Please Sign Here x___________
While John Hancock’s may be the most recognized American signature, each of ours is unique. And while we mainly think of it as something we scratch on contracts or receipts, it’s our personal mark. It’s our handwritten identity. That’s why creating a memorable signature isn’t just fun, but it’s also an awesome way to express ourselves.