The Identure and Penmanship


I know I am not alone in admiring the penmanship used in writings in the early 18th and 19th centuries. In the early 1950′s, capsule I was a young girl learning to write. Much emphasis was placed on the way I held my pencil. I remember the teacher looking over my shoulder as I practiced writing my letters, upper and lower case. I loved writing and I think I had beautiful penmanship. When my granddaughter was young and just learning to write, I thought she held her pencil the wrong way and I remember trying to correct her, even though she insisted on holding it that way. Now I notice a lot of young adults do the same thing. With all the emailing and texting, beautiful penmanship doesn’t seem important anymore.

I bought this 1823 indenture while antiquing the other day. I love the stamps along the edge. After taking this photo, I noticed that wonderful embossed eagle on the paper, how exciting it was to discover it!


Isn’t it beautiful. I put it on my desk, along with a pair of old reading glasses. Every once in a while I look at it. It fascinates me.
The writing is so beautifully done. Love the 1823 date.


Did you know in the late 1500′s that the development of copperplate engraving allowed for the use of very delicate type faces with many flourishes and curliques in the script-like letters? This greatly influenced handwriting, and handwriting masters began to grow in number. These masters produced beautifully written documents, and elegant handwriting became a sign of social status. I don’t know about you but I admire beautiful handwriting, but sadly we are getting away from it.

Happy Day

16 Responses to “The Identure and Penmanship”

  1. Krys Johnson Says:

    Hi Carole,

    Love your blog. Thanks for the beautiful photos and information. Well done.


  2. Marilyn Says:

    Hi Carole: I remember we had to keep our elbows on the desk and move our entire arm not just our hand. I forgot the name of the book we used. Does anyone remember??? It was the standard text used in the 40′s in the midwest. (WOW! Thats dating me, huh?)
    Thank You, Carole, for pleasant memories

  3. Pennygood Living Says:

    I studied in Parochial School with a book called the Palmer Handwriting Method. Endless hours making perfect abc’s. Amazing my handwriting is so not good after all that. Too much keyboard I suppuse.

  4. Marilyn Says:

    Thank You Pennygood Living…..That was it !!!! I’m going to see if I can find a copy……..maybe on EBay.

  5. Carole Says:

    Hi Pennygood Living. Thanks so much for reading my blog. I agree about the keyboard. When I go to write, I realize that I need more practice writing, and it is because of the computer and emailing. Please come again.

  6. Carole Says:

    Marilyn, yes, you are right. I remember that too, moving your entire arm. Doesn’t that seem hard to do now when you think about it? Seems like that would make your writing awfully big.
    Great to hear from you again.

  7. Jenny Says:

    Carole, I love old documents (I am in that line of work after all!) and indentures are usually impressive with their seals, like yours. What a great find!

  8. Rachael Kinnison Says:

    Hi Carole!
    I am back after vacation and such, and am loving all the catch up reading here on your blog~ beautiful pretties and rugs~ and I see your Mum’s house sold~ congratulations! Sounds like you are indeed having a wonderful summer!!! I L*O*V*E* the painting you did on the shutter~ just marvelous
    xoxoxoxoxo rachael

  9. Carole Says:

    Hi Jenny. I was thrilled to find this document. I do love the seals, very cool, and the eagle. What line of work are you in?
    Thanks for visiting.

  10. Carole Says:

    Hi Rachael. Welcome back. Long time no hear from you. Yes, my mom’s house sold! Whew! thank goodness for that. Thank you for the kind words on the painted shutters. I’ll have to hop on over and see what’s going on on your blog.

  11. Carole Says:

    Krys, I tried to leave a comment on your blog but could not figure out how to leave it. I want to thank you for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog and I hope you will come back again. Hope you read this.

  12. Jenny Says:

    Carole, click on the picture of the sampler in my sidebar–it will take you to an article I wrote for my employer! My education is in history and I am an archivist by profession. For the last several years, I have been involved in policy work (or is that wonk?). Early American history has always been a special interest of mine, which is why I enjoy your blog and your entire web site!

  13. Angie Kuether Says:

    I love your blog !!!!

  14. Carole Says:

    Hello Angie. Keeping up with a blog is very time consuming, especially when life itself is so demanding. Comments like yours make it all worth while. Thank you very much.

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