Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/170

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learn, since the child brings the idea of the perpendicular direction with him into the school, and since this idea can here at any time be easily rectified by reference to perpendicular walls, doors, etc., which is not the case with any other angle of elevation.

In a writing competition which Scharff instituted between his scholars and those of an equally high class in another school, it was found that at least as great rapidity was attained with Perdendicular Writing as with sloping. His best scholar required twenty-four minutes to copy a poem, the best among the rivals thirty minutes.

In December 1889 the “Schleswig-Holstein School News” contained the following intelligence from Flensburg: “The enactment of the Imperial Government, concerning the less oblique position of the letters in writing, has led to an experiment being made here with Perpendicular Writing, the results of which up to the present may be described as favourable almost beyond expectation.”

Vertical Writing has attained prominent importance in Vienna, where Principal Emmanuel Bayr has adopted it with great success. His first experiments began in April 1889, with from three to four children in each of the five lower classes, while the others wrote in oblique middle-position, in which the prescribed angle of inclination of the head was marked on the writing-desk.

Afterwards, in the District Teachers’ Conference of the sixth Vienna Communal District, Bayr delivered a lecture on the result of his experiments, in which he very decidedly advocated Vertical Writing, relying on a critique by Herr Toldt, Prof, of Anatomy, which appeared in print in Bayr'’s pamphlet entitled “The Vertical Roman Style of Writing,” and contains a critical sifting of the reasons adduced by authors for and against Perpendicular Writing, with the result that Vertical Writing is given the preference on account of its favourable influence on an erect posture of body. Bayr as well as Toldt, and with them the whole subsequent reform-movement in Vienna, put forward at the same time the demand that the so-called German Current Hand should be abandoned and be replaced by the Roman character. The Middle Franconia Medical Council, as is well-known, has thought it more desirable not to connect the question of the Roman character with that of Vertical Writing.

In the autumn of 1889 Bayr began to employ Vertical Writing to a greater extent in the public school of five classes which is under his control. Both parallel courses of the first school-year, and also one parallel course of the second class, wrote vertically, while the other course wrote obliquely in oblique middle-position (according to Berlin) as hitherto; similarly in the third class. In the fourth and fifth class individual scholars wrote perpendicularly, the others