Mother Jones


3200 B.C.: With stylus and clay tablets, ancient Mesopotamians create abstract symbols to represent syllables of their spoken language.

600s: Quill pens and parchment paper take hold in Europe. Drippy ink discourages pen lifting, hence cursive.

1440s: Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press forces scribes to pivot to teaching penmanship.

c. 1712: A popular copybook by George Bickham teaches farmers and merchants to write in a “round” hand. Gentlemen of the era employ an italic

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Mother Jones

Mother Jones1 min read
Back To The Future
Scott Pruitt isn’t the first EPA administrator famously hostile to the agency. That distinction goes to Anne Gorsuch. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, the agency’s first female head was known for her jet-black hair, fur coats, proclivity for Mar
Mother Jones3 min readSociety
Is There A Vaccine For Propaganda?
YOU’VE PROBABLY HAD this experience: You’re talking to someone you love and suddenly a gulf opens up between your reality and theirs. Say, you discover that they are a vaccine skeptic. Not an active denier perhaps—just someone who, in the words of a
Mother Jones5 min read
Angels In America
BIG ANGEL—PATRIARCH of the De La Cruz clan, “El Jefe” emblazoned on his coffee mug, a man who once “could make the walls crack with his voice”—is dying of cancer. Relegated to a wheelchair, he realizes that “somebody was going to have to put his shoe