Of all the accomplishments of the ancient Middle East, the invention of the alphabet is probably the greatest. While pre-alphabetic systems of writing in the Old World became steadily more phonetic, they were still exceedingly cumbersome, and the syllabic systems that gradually replaced them… Theories of the origin of the alphabet The evolution of the alphabet involved two important achievements. The first was the step taken by a group of Semitic-speaking people, perhaps the Phoenicians, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean between and bce. This was the invention of a consonantal writing system known as North Semitic.
Something as basic to us as writing was quite different in 18th Century British-America. British-Americans in that century spoke English, yet they used words that we do not, and we use words that did not even exist then. Literacy estimates vary, but it is thought that almost all of the adult New England population at the end of the eighteenth century could read at least to some degree.
Maybe half of those could write. The ability to read the printed word did not necessarily result in the ability to read handwriting.
Reading and writing were taught separately, as separate skills.
In British colonial America, reading was taught so that both males and females could 1700s writing alphabet the Christian Bible. It was thought that women especially, did not need to express their own thoughts as much as they needed to be able to read the Christian Word.
Males progressed in school and learned to read in order to carry on business or professional occupations. Some, but by no means all, of the upper classes became literate as a sign of good breeding and education.
Typically, fewer women than men could read. Writing in colonial America was also a predominantly male skill, tied strongly to occupation and class. Lawyers and their clerks, scholars, physicians, clergy, and business people needed to be able to write. It was felt that most women did not need to know how to write, nor did farmers, artisans, non-whites, and the lower classes.
Most Black slaves were kept illiterate as a means of social control. Her schooling as a girl began before the American Revolution.
After the American Revolution, the idea of Republican Motherhood invited more schooling for females. As a writing female who kept a diary, Martha Ballard was unusual for her time.
She would have been less unusual in the next century when diary keeping became a fashionable female avocation. Penmanship instruction in the eighteenth century consisted of copying different "hands," which were different calligraphic styles. Penmanship books showed alphabets, sayings, and business forms in different hands.
Students copied these exactly, for practice and reference. Writing practice for females was not based on commerce but on accepted female skills. Thus girls learned to stitch alphabets and maxims onto samplers while boys practiced on slates and paper.
Many samplers survive today. For example, 18th century females used the Italiante hand, which was considered easier to learn and more feminine in appearance. Men in commerce were expected to use a hand that inspired confidence and demonstrated self-assurance.
By contrast, the earlier arcane, very difficult to read Court Hands of England were not favored in the more democratic early national period of the United States. Martha Ballard folded and cut individual sheets of paper for her diary. Writers had to make and sharpen their own quills.
Ink could be made according to recipes or mixed from dried ink powder that could be purchased. By looking at 18th century writing, studying who wrote what, and reading 18th century penmanship books, one can develop a "feel" for the era and learn to read period manuscripts.
Unfamiliar writing styles, quirks of individual writers who do not follow standard writing patterns, and problems with the materials such as ink blotches, fading ink, and discolored paper can pose intriguing reading challenges. Here are some characteristics of 18th century British-American handwriting that might make for difficult reading until you get used to it.
Some Characteristics of 18th century British-American Handwriting There were no typewriters, so personal writing was handwritten. Commercial writing was handwritten or printed with type on a press. Upper case letters were used to begin nouns as well as to begin sentences.
The lower case s was written in elongated form at the beginning of a word, in the middle of a word, and when written twice, as in pass.
The elongated s can be mistaken for an f, and ss can look something like a p.The Roots of Penmanship () Roman Script Old Roman cursive, also called majuscule cursive and capitalis cursive, was the everyday form of handwriting used for writing letters, by merchants writing business accounts, by schoolchildren learning the Latin alphabet, and even by emperors issuing commands.
Find best value and selection for your LATE S EARLY S ALPHABET SAMPLER search on eBay. World's leading marketplace. Microsoft Word - Alphabet Examples of English Script from the s and r-bridal.com Author: grahamfw Created Date: 3/11/ PM.
While this way of reading and comprehending whole words at a glance is very useful in the modern world, it can lead to incomprehension and mistakes when trying to read documents written in an old and unfamiliar style of handwriting.
Below are sample alphabets of the four major scripts used in early modern English-language documents. Examples of the 4 main scripts To learn more about these scripts, visit the Hands section under Techniques and Tools. The Handwriting Of American Records For A Period Of Years The Handwriting Of American Records For A Period Of Years and The peculiarity, as a variable in its many an formations, is how the loop below the line is made.
In the ' s and the early ' s it is commonly made to the right of the down- ward stroke rather than to the left.