Monday, May 11, 2015

Lettering: Platt R. Spencer, Master Penman

November 7, 1800, East Fishkill, New York – May 16, 1864, Geneva, Ohio

Platt Rogers Spencer was the youngest child born to Caleb and Jerusha, and creator of the Spencerian writing system.

1830 United States Federal Census
Ashtabula, Ohio
P R Spencer

1840 United States Federal Census
Geneva, Ohio
Platt R Spencer

1850 United States Federal Census
Geneva, Ohio
Name / Age
Platt R Spencer 49
Persis Spencer 43
Robert C Spencer 20
Sarah L Spencer 17
Platt R Spencer 15
Henry C Spencer 12
Harvey A Spencer 12
Lyman P Spencer 10
Phebe J Spencer 8
Ellen R Spencer 00

1860 United States Federal Census
Oberlin, Ohio
Name / Age
Platt R Spencer 60
Persis Spencer 54
Lyman Spencer 20
Robert Spencer 31
Platt Spencer 25
Henry Spencer 22
Harvey Spencer 22
Phoebe Spencer 18
Persis Spencer 10
Emma Spencer 4

The Ohio Educational Monthly, January 1861

The Ohio Educational Monthly, January 1861

The Ohio Educational Monthly, January 1861

The Ohio Educational Monthly, January 1861

The Ohio Educational Monthly, January 1861

New York Daily Tribune

May 20, 1864
At a called mooting of the TEACHERS and STUDENTS of Bryant, Stratton & Packard’s Commercial College, held at their rooms on Thursday, May 19, the following resolutions touching the death of Mr. PLATT R. SPENCER were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, We have been made acquainted with the fact of the death of our beloved friend and former instructor, Mr. Platt R. Spencer, who died at his residence in Geneva, Ohio, on Monday evening, May 16, inst.; and
 Whereas; We deem it not less a duty than a sacred privilege to memorialize this sad event by a solemn act of the Institution of which we are members, and in which he so recently officiated; therefore, be it
Resolved, That in this sad dispensation of Providence we recognize the hand of a just and wise God, and while we are called upon to mourn the loss of one who has upon us a peculiar claim for gratitude and affection, and whose departure from a field of great usefulness has filled our hearts with unalloyed sorrow and regret, we bow with submission to the will of “Him who doeth all things well.” 
Resolved, That in all our past association with our departed friend we have ever found in him the qualities of a true man; and that the retrospect of this valued acquaintanceship recalls no act or thought to mar the sacred pleasures of memory. 
Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Spencer, every true friend of education and moral advancement has occasion to mourn the domino of a brother; for in all that tended to benefit society, to advance tho cause of virtue, and to administer to a true and healthy social progress, his heart was alive and his hand free. 
Resolved, That all lovers of correct penmanship throughout the world have lost in Mr. Spencer a most devoted and faithful exemplar; and that the day is not distant when to him must be universally conceded the honor of having evolved and perfected a system of Writing which must remain the business standard for all coming time. 
Resolved, That while we sincerely deplore the sad stroke which has placed beyond our reach the living instruction of the revered author of the “Spencerian Penmanship,” we will never cease to commemorate his services by a healthful ambition to profit by the works he has left behind him 
Resolved, That we do most earnestly and sincerely sympathize with the immediate family and friends of the deceased, and extend to them our heartfelt condolence in this their hour of deepest sorrow. 
Resolved, That these proceedings be published in the city papers, and that a copy thereof be handsomely engrossed for the family of the deceased. 
W. W. Harder, Chairman.
W. Allan Miller, Secretary.
S. S. Packard, James McGivren, W. H. Palmer, J. Simpson, G. B. West, Committee.

Find a Grave

Susan Bradburn
Arcadia Publishing, 2007
Grave site

Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship
Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co., 1866

Ashtabula Telegraph
October 20, 1876

Hill’s Album of Biography and Art, 1882

Hill’s Album of Biography and Art, 1882

Hill’s Album of Biography and Art, 1882

An Illustrated Description of Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Sentinel, March 1890
Spencer Brothers

Penman’s Art Journal
February 1898
“Father Spencer” Part 1

Penman’s Art Journal
March 1898
“Father Spencer” Part 2

Penman’s Art Journal
April 1898
“Father Spencer” Part 3

Penman’s Art Journal
May 1898
“Father Spencer” Part 4

The Kansas City Journal
September 3, 1899
Father of Penmanship.
Plan to Erect a Memorial at Geneva, O., to Platt R. Spencer.

New York Tribune
(New York)
September 17, 1899
The Father of Penmanship.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography
Volume VIII
James Terry White
James T. White & Company, 1900
Spencer, Platt Rogers, educator and author…

Sketches of Ohio Libraries
Ohio State Library Board
Platt R. Spencer Memorial Library

Herringshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century
Thomas William Herringshaw
American Publishers’ Association, 1904
Spencer, Platt Rogers, the originator of the Spencerian method of penmanship, was born Nov. 7, 1800, in East Fishkill, N.Y. He had given penmanship much attention from early youth, and was led to perfect his semi-angular system by seeing the necessity of a more rapid execution than the old round Roman method, and a more legible hand than the angular or German system. He died May 16, 1864, in Geneva, Ohio.

The Blue Book, 1907

The San Francisco Call
May 8, 1909
Where Spencer Taught the Art of Writing

The Business Journal
September 1910
Platt R. Spencer pernmanship

The Ogden Standard Magazine
October 24, 1914
Are the Good Penmen All Dead Ones?

The New Standard American Business Guide: A Complete Compendium of How to Do Business by the Latest and Safest Methods
Edward Thomas Roe
G.G. Sapp, 1914

A History of Cleveland and Its Environs: The Heart of New Connecticut
Volume 2
Elroy McKendree Avery
Lewis Publishing Company, 1918
Henry T. Loomis, business partner

Artists in Ohio, 1787–1900: A Biographical Dictionary
Jeffrey Weidman
Kent State University Press, 2000

Luc Devroye

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(Next post on Monday: Spider-Man’s Gas Mask, Très Chic)

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