Monday, July 26, 2010

The Eclectic System of Penmanship by L. S. Thompson

Langdon S. Thompson was a teacher of penmanship in the Sandusky schools in 1863. The 1867 Sandusky City Directory lists Mr. Thompson’s residence as 9 Meigs Street. In 1876, L. S. Thompson wrote an elementary course in penmanship, published by Wilson, Hinkle & Company. A series of three books included examples of letters, words, and short sentences, along with blank lines for elementary students to practice their writing skills.

Mr. Thompson felt that whole letters and whole words should be taught to even the youngest of children, instead of the traditional teaching of lines as a first step in the elements of handwriting. In Freddie Bauer’s school book from the West Market Street School, the phrases “Strive to excel” and “Love the good” are meant to be an object lesson as well as to help the student practice his or her penmanship.

Later, L. S. Thompson taught in Indiana and in Jersey City, New Jersey. An article in volume 15 of the journal School Arts, reported that Dr. Langdon S. Thompson had retired after sixty years of continuous service in art education. He had served as a grade school teacher, school principal, supervisor of drawing, college professor, and director of art education. He also had a wide reputation as an author and lecturer, and was active in several professional organizations, including the National Education Association.

The young student Fred Bauer was a lifelong resident of Sandusky. He was an expert in municipal finance, and served as Erie County Auditor from 1916-1918 and 1922-1928.

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