Student penmanship portfolio for a Palmer Method of Business Writing Certificate
24 manuscript leaves produced recto-only:  cover sheet with the student's name in calligraphy,  leaves with the numbered exercises from the book,  letter of intent addressed to the A. N. Palmer Company in New York, submitting the work with the form letter printed at the end of the book: "Gentlemen;— I have completed the lessons in the Palmer Method of Business Writing and herewith submit my examination. I have tried to follow closely the printed instructions in the manual and hope to obtain a Final Certificate. Awaiting your decision I am..." An incredibly unlikely example of complete coursework completed by Maud at Carbondale High School. The Palmer Method of Writing was developed in the late nineteenth century and became the most popular method of teaching penmanship in the United States up to the 1950s. Instruction in the Palmer method is still available through a company website which maintains some devotees to the style. Its figures are elegant without being fussy, like the bygone Spencerian script, while still being more refined and better suited to rapid writing than vertical style cursive. It promotes muscle movement and the use of the whole arm rather than the hand alone. Students could submit a sample of their handwriting to the company to be awarded a certificate, typically copying the letter form on the last page of this manuscript. It's possible Maud's work would not have passed muster at this stage, and that may be why her work wasn't submitted. Or, she completed the coursework as required by her school and was indifferent to validation from Palmer H.Q. Whatever the case, this is an incredible survivor.
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