Long Before Texting

Shaylor’s “Compendium of Penmanship,” ca. 1900

In the new Maine Memory exhibit, Horace W. Shaylor, Portland Penman, recent MHS intern Sarah Weirich explores the life and livelihood of a 19th and early 20th century Maine handwriting and drawing enthusiast.

Shaylor combined the popular writing methods of the day–the Spencerian Script and the Palmer Method–into his own new writing technique encompassing three styles and five focal points: legibility, rapidity, economy, beauty, hygiene. He published several textbooks on his methods. He also created beautiful pencil drawings, as did his artist daughter.

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