Monday, July 6, 2015

Lettering: John D. Williams, Master Penman

1829, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – January 1871, Albany, New York

1850 United States Federal Census
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Name / Age
Frances Williams 53
Lazarus Williams 23
Benjamin Williams 19
Aaron Williams 13
John Williams 21
Margaret Thomas 10

The Ohio Journal of Education
December 1854
Duff’s Mercantile College Advertisement
John D. Williams, the best off-hand penman in the United States, Professor of Commercial and Ornamental Penmanship.

Directory for 1856–’57 of Pittsburgh and Allegheny
Williams John D., teacher penmanship, Duff’s Col, bds St Charles

New-York Tribune
(New York)
February 14, 1859
Lecture on Writing.—Mr. JOHN D. WILLIAMS, Professor of Penmanship at Bryant & Stratton’s Mercantile College, will lecture THIS EVENING, commencing at 7 1/2 o’clock, at Room No. 23 Cooper Institute, on the “Principles of Writing involved in the Spencerian System.” The Lecture will be illustrative, and is open to the public.
S.S. PACKARD, Resident Principal.

1860 United States Federal Census
New York, New York
Name / Age
John D Williams 29 (Professor of Penmanship)
Isabella W Williams 24 (wife)
Henry G Williams 4 (son)

Trow’s New York City Directory, 1860–61
Williams John D. teacher, h 27 Barrow

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle
(New York)
September 1864

Chicago Tribune
September 5, 1865
State Fair.—Mr. John D. Williams, the great Pen Artist, will be on the Fair Grounds and exhibit his wonderful skill with the pen during the Fair.

Mr. Williams is Superintendent of the Ornamental Writing Department in Bryant, Stratton & Co.’s chain of Business Colleges. He is universally acknowledged to have no superior in his department in the country. His “heights” almost excel [illegible] herself—they are wonderful exhibitions of skill. 

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle
(New York)
October 2, 1865
…We will further state, in our own behalf, that the prizes at this Fair ware awarded for specimens of Business Penmanship executed by Henry C. Spencer, and of Ornamental Penmanship executed by John D. Williams….

Williams and Packard’s Gems of Penmanship
John D. Williams, Silas Sadler Packard
D. Appleton & Company, 1867

The Daily Journal
(Syracuse, New York)
February 19, 1867
Specimens of Penmanship

Albany Evening Journal
(New York)
March 2, 1867
Business Notices.
Special Writing Class.—Those who are desirous of becoming excellent penmen should not fail to join the Special Writing Class for the month of March, commencing 4th inst.

The famous John D. Williams, Superintendent of Writing in the chain of Colleges, author of “Williams & Packard’s Gems of Penmanship,” will be present Monday evening and drill the class. This work, the most elaborate in business and ornamental styles, extant, is offered as premiums for the best improvement and specimens.

Buffalo Evening Courier and Republic
(New York)
May 1, 1867
Gems of Penmanship

Chicago Tribune
May 4, 1867
Beautiful Penmanship.—The Bryant & Stratton Business College is renowned for its large display of fine Penmanship. The very next talent in the country is always connected with this institution. We understand that John D. Williams, the superintendent of ornamental writing in the chain of colleges, will spend a few weeks at this college, giving instruction to a normal class of writing [illegible]. Persons in the city or from a distance can join classes for this special instruction.

New York Tribune
December 9, 1867
Detail of New York Business College advertisement

Trow’s New York City Directory, 1868
Williams John D. teacher, h 302 W. 18th

Troy Daily Times
(New York)
December 17, 1870
John D. Williams of New York, a distinguished pen-artist and author, delivered a lecture on the progressive history of penmanship before the students of Bryant, Stratton & Carnell’s Troy Commercial College last evening.

Thirty-first Annual Report of the American Institute, of the City of New York, for the Years 1870–1871
Argus Company, 1871
Awarded at the Thirty-ninth Annual Exhibition, 1870
I.—Department of Fine Arts and Education
Sixth Group.—Specimens of printing and bookbinding, books, stationery, ornamental penmanship, globes, maps, charts and all apparatus for instructing in science; tables and machines for calculation.
Award of Premiums
Group 6.—(Division II).
John D. Williams, 458 West Eighteenth street, New York, for a system of ornamental and business penmanship. Honorable mention.

Manual of Free-hand Penmanship
Alvin R. Dunton, B. Harrison, J. W. C. Gilman, John D. Williams, Silas Sadler Packard
J.W.C. Gilman & Company, 1877

Hill’s Album of Biography and Art, 1882

Hill’s Album of Biography and Art, 1882

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