Modern Living: New Look in Longhand

In the good old days when illiteracy was the normal human condition, handwriting was something to be proud of—and looked it. The Declaration of Independence was signed with grace and style, but if John Hancock could see the dim and squiggly John hancocks of Americans today, he might be discouraged about the future of democracy.

Invitation to Flourish. The fine art of handwriting began to splutter into decline with the invention of the fountain pen. In order to hold enough ink, it was a fat, heavy, unwieldy instrument, calculated to muscle-bind the most graceful hand. To make a smaller pen feasible,...