Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/173

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At the beginning the children all sit straight. To the specialist, however, even at the outset, the straight posture of the vertically-writing children is remarkable; the others lose this fine erect posture at the first stroke which they make obliquely. After the lapse of three minutes the sloping writers will fall together (collapse). After ten minutes they assume the most peculiar posture, after a quarter of an hour their head is scarcely 12 to 14 c. m. distant. The vertically-writing children remain sitting straight during the whole writing lesson, and in as good a posture as at the beginning. Usually after four to five minutes the stranger can distinguish all those who wrote vertically from behind without having seen the writing. Dr. Aloys Karpf, Custodian of the Imperial and Royal Trust Commission Library, writes: “To-day I had an opportunity, along with Principal Francis Zdarsky and Teacher H. Saik, of observing the progress in this way of writing among the children in several classes of Principal Immanuel Bayr’s school. It was observed that the posture of the children, on each of the many times they set themselves to write, was, with astonishingly few exceptions, a model one. The advantage of the endeavour to attain such a posture cannot, from the standpoint of school hygiene, be sufficiently often emphasised. Attempts to make the children write rapidly in this way succeeded to the particular satisfaction of Principal Zdarsky, who attached special importance to this point. To judge by the experiments, especially in the first class, I am disposed to adopt the psychologically explicable assumption that more pleasing forms are more quickly attained with those children who begin at once with Vertical Writing than with those who are urged to Vertical Writing only when already practised in the sloping writing.”

Caroline Seidl, city governess, who teaches under Bayr in the fifth writing class (mixed) reports: “The female pupils of the fifth class were introduced to Vertical Writing only at the beginning of the school year 1889–1890. The transition from the Sloping Writing practised during four years to Vertical Writing involved not the least difficulty for the children in respect to the posture of body, holding of pen, or technical execution. It was also an easy thing for them on command to pass from Vertical Writing at once back again to Sloping Writing….

“…All the children who were introduced to Vertical Writing afforded, in respect to faultless sitting and caligraphy, thoroughly satisfactory and frequently even surprising results…. On comparing the writing of a copy-book in which the writing was first sloping and later vertical, one could perceive with satisfaction how much prettier and more regular an impression was made on the be-