From the Collection

Handwriting Day

A discoloured white lined page from a journal with the page title underlined and written in a decorative style with red and black ink, followed by lines of cursive writing in black ink

Every year on John Hancock’s birthday, January 23rd, we celebrate Handwriting Day.  Cursive writing is a disappearing art that once made up a large part of a student’s day and was a skill expected in adulthood. Jesse M. Walton, later the mayor of Aurora, recorded his journey to Sault Ste. Marie in handwriting in 1888 at age 22, and we are fortunate enough to have his journal (74.2.3) preserved in its entirety. Walton’s account displays considerable acumen with a fountain pen, which, at the time, were still only filled with ink by hand.   His controlled and carefully weighted script is refreshingly easy to read, provided the idiosyncrasies of his spelling don’t distract too much!

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