Author Topic: Old-school style  (Read 5479 times)

Offline himasf

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Old-school style
« on: August 11, 2016, 01:50:45 PM »
I'm going waaay back! Anyone have pics of specimen of old old Spencerian? Really digging this style lately but there's not a lot of reference material. Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. I tried to copy this from one of the files in my phone's screenshot folder, most likely from instagram. Anyone else interested in this style?


Offline AndyT

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 02:50:36 PM »
Chris Yoke owns a few samples, I believe.

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 06:07:47 PM »
Go to iampeth and look under the lessons section. There are quite a few old school books with very cool samples. My favorite is the Bloser Method book. Its all there for free.
Instagram : @danielmastrofski

Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 04:05:12 AM »
I love this style. I think Schin's got it down!
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Offline Rednaxela

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 05:17:09 AM »
Silly question perhaps, but what makes a certain Spencerian style 'old school'?
-- Alexander --

Offline AndyT

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 06:52:49 AM »
Silly question perhaps, but what makes a certain Spencerian style 'old school'?

The slightly facetious but pretty accurate answer would be anything that preceded Lyman Spencer.  We're all very familiar with his work from the various textbooks and the New Compendium, and it's probably fair to say that for most informed people that's what Spencerian looks like.  The earlier style was more free and easy, less mechanistic if you will, and the influence of the old roundhand was more apparent.  It hardly needs saying that the most prominent practitioner was Platt Rogers Spencer himself; the sadly neglected A R Dunton was another.  A glance at this little example by Spencer Sr. is nicely illustrative.  What I find pleasing about this sort of thing is that it is very plainly handwriting, brisk and unlaboured.  The sheer perfection of the later engravings sets a standard which can be quite dispiriting at times.  ;)

There are traces of this sort of thing in the original Compendium; what we're not talking about is The Theory of Spencerian Penmanship, say, or any sort of Ornamental Penmanship.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 10:01:38 AM »
I'm going waaay back! Anyone have pics of specimen of old old Spencerian? Really digging this style lately but there's not a lot of reference material. Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough.
Sure.
The first of these two was penned in 1857 by P. R. Spencer
The second was penned by H. H. Hood around the same time (love those S's and L's. Straight shading on the d's and t's, old style c, old style s in "business", some caps very similar to Roundhand, much more compressed than later styles, all typical for "old school" Spencerian.)

A lovely style. Both of these examples are from Spencer's Spencerian or SemiAngular Penmanship, Book 13, Which is full of examples of the "old" or beginning style of Spencerian. I think IAMPETH has Book 10 scanned, which should be similar, should you want further examples.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 10:05:18 AM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 10:16:11 AM »
the sadly neglected A R Dunton was another.

Quite so. Do you perchance have any original work by Dunton?

Quote
The sheer perfection of the later engravings sets a standard which can be quite dispiriting at times.  ;)

This is a topic in which I have been interested for some time, and, so as not to disturb this thread, will start another in this section presently.

Offline AndyT

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 11:23:53 AM »
Very nice.  What I referred to above as the original Compendium is indeed properly called "The Compendium of Spencerian or Semi-Angular Penmanship Book 10" and is available here.  James is well aware of it already, without doubt.

As for Dunton, it's unlikely I've seen anything you haven't - and by the way, in your modesty you've neglected to mention your thread on the subject.  This stuff isn't well represented online, alas.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 12:22:36 PM »
Very nice.  What I referred to above as the original Compendium is indeed properly called "The Compendium of Spencerian or Semi-Angular Penmanship Book 10" and is available here.  James is well aware of it already, without doubt.
Oh, this is very interesting. Book 13 differs from Book 10 in that the word "Compendium" does not appear anywhere on or in the book. The order of pages differs as well. What do you suppose the number 10 (or 13) means? Edition? I've never seen a book 11 or 12 or any number higher than 13. No book number 1-9 either, except for copy books.

Offline Rednaxela

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 01:19:02 PM »
Thank you for this great discussion @AndyT and @AnasaziWrites. Very informative!
-- Alexander --

Offline AndyT

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 01:30:22 PM »
What do you suppose the number 10 (or 13) means?

Haha!  No idea ... there's much about 19th century publishing which is baffling to me.  Is there a date on Book 13? - if it's later than 1866 perhaps it's a revised edition with a less eccentric page order but much the same content?

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2016, 03:31:30 PM »


Haha!  No idea ... there's much about 19th century publishing which is baffling to me.  Is there a date on Book 13? - if it's later than 1866 perhaps it's a revised edition with a less eccentric page order but much the same content?
Who doesn't like a good mystery?

Book 13 was published in 1857 by Phinney & Co of Buffalo, NY.  Phinney & Co. moved to Buffalo in 1848 and ceased publishing under this exact name in 1862. As you undoubtedly know (but others may not), Ivison Phinney formed the Spencerian Pen Co. as a subsidiary in 1858, but I digress. Old Ivison really got around, working as/with Ivison, Blakeman & Taylor, 1846-1891 publishing dictionaries; Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co., 1860-70, juvenile works; Ivison, Phinney & Co., 1846-68 juvenile works; Ivison, Blakeman & Co, 1861-91, Dictionaries as well as our beloved "Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship"; Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor & Co., 1870-86, history, as well as the for whom the Spencerian Artistic 14 (the Principality clone) was made. Did I leave anyone out?

My Book 13 belonged to one Miss Ella L. Kellogg of Horicon, Wisconsin, whose name is written on the front flyleaf. I'm most fortunate to have one of her copy books as well (I bought them together). It's copy book #9, copyrighted 1859, of "Spencerian System of Practical Semiangular Penmanship" by Prof. P. R. Spencer (so published in his lifetime). She was a very good student--the whole book is filled out in a fair hand. This copy book was probably printed in 1862 or thereabouts, as one exercise has a date of September 21, 1862. Anyway, I ramble. I find it fun to see work done which we still copy/try to learn over 150 years later.


Probably more than you wanted to hear.
















« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 04:11:29 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline AndyT

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 06:20:20 PM »
Probably more than you wanted to hear.

Nope.  :)

Ivison certainly did get around - there was that business of the Meteor nib, for instance.  If memory serves Ivison, Blakeman and Turner had a huge slice of the school textbook market which eventually amounted to a near monopoly when they joined forces with the other big players and consolidated into the American Book Company.  I'm at a loss to account for the numbering now, the more so because there's a reference to Book 13 in Book 10 (page 57 of the Archive.org pdf).  Eagerly awaiting developments ...

Offline tiffany.c.a

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Re: Old-school style
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2016, 09:38:34 PM »
Another consideration of this older style is the tool used. "It should be remembered that in Spencerian's earliest days, steel pens were not available and the flexibility of quill pens naturally resulted in shaded lines on the downstroke" (An Elegant Hand p.7).

I am fascinated by Platt Sr.'s earlier writing. Even by 1862, after his writing changed from heavily roundhand-influenced to more Spencerian, it was still not in the strict vein of later Spencerian. It's like his character and his journey are ingrained on paper.

The later Spencerian has a wonderful beauty, consistency, and crispness, but the earlier style is just as beautiful and sincere.