Gregg Handwriting

I recently purchased a copy of “Gregg Handwriting” (1931, by John Robert Gregg and Mary Louise Champion).  This copy was published by the Gregg Publishing Company Ltd. in London, but presents a totally American-style cursive handwriting (in the tradition of Spencer, Palmer, Zaner-Bloser, etc.)  Addresses in later samples are British, and prices in pounds.

Now I’m curious if this book was issued in both an American and British edition?  I suppose so, but if anyone else has the book it would be interesting to confirm that.  (Someone at one time said they had it, but I can’t remember who).

It’s also interesting that the Gregg Company didn’t continue to market handwriting texts, and that continued to be a viable textbook market, and it seems compatible with shorthand. 

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7 comments Add yours
  1. I believe the book was only printed in the UK. I have a copy and it shows the London address for both the printer (Wilson's Printing Company) and publisher (The Gregg Publishing Company, LTD.). I think Mr. Gregg was friends with Mr. Palmer. Perhaps he didn't want to be in direct competition with him; notice that the publication date of the book (1931) was after Mr. Palmer's death (1927).

  2. Thanks. Apparently same edition as mine . . . same date, same printer. My copy is in unusually good condition for a book that is 84 years old. I'd like to make a copy available on line, but not sure about the process for that. It would be a chore to manually scan the whole thing.

    Maybe in that era Dr. Gregg felt that the market was well covered for handwriting instruction.

    1. I have a scan of the book. I just haven't made it available to the blog, but if you want access to the scan, just let me know. Click on About, Contact to send me an email.

  3. Amazingly I did not! It was on Ebay and I got it for about US$16, including postage . . . lucky break that no one else was watching it and bidding for it at the same time!

    On a side note, here's a somewhat related pubication by the Gregg Publishing Company that's available for download from Google books:

  4. I obtained the book a few years ago. Since Dr. Gregg's system is based on the strokes of cursive writing, I thought it would be interesting to study his own conception of cursive.

    That the book was written for a British audience is also evident from the last paragraph of the intro, which presents the book as a means of improving handwriting "throughout the Empire."

    At any rate, I expect it might be helpful as a text for my boy when he's ready. As most here are probably aware, American education trends are steadily moving toward keyboard-based learning and away from handwriting instruction, which I regard as a disastrous mistake.

    Many districts have already dropped cursive instruction! It's as if cursive is going the way of shorthand. In another decade, at this rate, we may have to start another board for cursive too. 🙁

    1. I think we are already there. I know recent college graduates with the penmanship of a first grader — I'm not exaggerating — and this is print, not cursive!

      I think that part of the reason for not teaching cursive nowadays is not to make those kids that cannot write it well feel bad. Because saying "Hey, your penmanship is poor. Do something about it." or "Go work on your handwriting!" could be considered now as bullying.

      (Although if you say "I think you'll become a doctor. Your handwriting shows." may be taken as a compliment!)

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