Promoting the Art, History and Techniques of American Penmanship

There was a time in the not too distant past when the term Master Penman (men and women) was used to describe individuals who attained mastery of the writing arts. The purpose of this site is to keep their memory of their work alive. The art of penmanship and engrossing in the United States reached its zenith at the Zanerian College in Columbus Ohio. The main focus of this web site is the promotion of Engrosser's script. However, Ornamental penmanship and engrossing will also be represented. We would like to acknowledge Michael Sull's generosity in allowing the use of materials from his monumental two-volume work 'Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship'.

Script in the Copperplate Style

FREE Instructional for iPad

Written by Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo

Description: This is the first interactive iBook for Copperplate-style Calligraphy made specifically for the Apple iPad. This is a free book available for immediate download. The multimedia instructional materials contained within will help both the novice and advanced students. The fundamentals of Copperplate calligraphy are the focus of this Book with particular emphasis on letterforms. In addition, advanced concepts including Needle Stitch Script, and Gilded Script are examined. This book is more than 80 pages are packed with instructional text, images and more than 35 videos presented in an interactive format that will allow the student of the art form to accelerate their learning. To download the iBook click HERE or on the image below.

Also on this site

Penmanship/Calligraphy Lessons

For those seeking instruction with Script in the Copperplate Style please refer to the IAMPETH web site where I have posted all of my instructional articles as well as video clips. All are available without cost. Here are the two links:

For Lesson Article (see title by Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo):

Lessons on IAMPETH

For Instructional Videos:

Videos on IAMPETH

MUST SEE Images of Zanerian Certificates

For the Latest Books on Penmanship

The Zanerian Manual | shared by David Grimes

For a description of the styles of pointed pen script

To learn more about the Zanerian College

Two different guideline sets for Engrosser's Script



Have you ever wondered how those highly sought after vintage pen points were manufactured?

Click Here to see how Gillott manufactured their legendary 303 more than a century ago.

 A Gallery of Female Penmen

A gallery dedicated to female penmen.

 The Master Penmen Archives

Specimens from historical and modern day penmen including WA Baird, FB Courtney, WE Dennis, EA Lupfer, Charlton Howe, Louis Madarasz, CW Norder, JD Todd and CP Zaner. Selected works were scanned at high resolution.

Oblique Penholder Gallery

This gallery contains several styles of Oblique Penholders from my personal collection. In addition, several images of penholders (not in my collection) belonging to historical Master Penmen are included to demonstrate the variety of holder shapes that were used.

Pen Holders of Past Masters: The Don Tate Collection

A wonderful collection of pen holders previously owned and used by several past master penmen. Thanks to penman and historian Don Tate for sharing this truly marvelous collection thought to be the famous RR Reed Collection. Thanks to IAMPETH Webmaster James Ivey for constructing and posting this page.

The Gallery of Penmanship Gadgets

This gallery contains several historical examples of gadgets made specifically to help an individual learn penmanship.

Zanerian Catalog

Follow this link to view selected pages from an early Zanerian Catalog. The pages are very informative and provide prices of several popular nibs including the Zanerian FineWriter and the Gillott Principality. At the time this catalog was published, a gross of Gillott Principalities cost $2.00.

Modern & Vintage Penmanship Publications

Follow the above link to view important penmanship publications of the past and present.

 Please consider joining

The Ornamental Penmanship Discussion Forum

Click to subscribe to The Ornamental Penmanship Group

To view samples of my work click HERE

Or to learn more about me click HERE