In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

Shaylor and Family

This Exhibit Contains 12 Items
1
Horace W. Shaylor Sr., Portland, ca. 1900

Horace W. Shaylor Sr., Portland, ca. 1900

Item 74201 info
Maine Historical Society

Horace W. Shaylor was born in Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1845. His parents, Israel, a ship carpenter, and Frances, a homemaker, had six children: Lucien, Frances, Egbert, Horace, Henry and Cornelius.

Horace and Henry were twins; however, Henry died at age of 13.


2
Railroad bridge pencil drawing, Ohio, ca. 1900

Railroad bridge pencil drawing, Ohio, ca. 1900

Item 74459 info
Maine Historical Society

Horace took up the study of penmanship as a child. His first penmanship teacher was Platt Rogers Spencer, the creator of Spencerian Script, a uniform system of cursive writing.

Shaylor was in the 1863 graduating class of Platt R. Spencer School of Penmanship of Geneva, Ohio. The school was a small log structure; the students had to supply their own chairs and candles.


3
Theory of Spencerian Penmanship, 1874

Theory of Spencerian Penmanship, 1874

Item 74462 info
Maine Historical Society

Spencer, known as the "Father of American Handwriting," was born in 1800 along the Hudson River. He, like Horace W. Shaylor, spent his youth in Ashtabula.

Spencer's mother was widowed and his family was so poor that he could not afford paper. Instead, Spencer practiced his handwriting on leaves, bark, snow and sand.

He loved writing so much that he performed extraordinary acts just to explore it further. One time he walked barefoot for 20 miles simply to borrow a book. Another time, Spencer was supposed to demonstrate script for a visitor but did not have a pen; he used a broom straw and blood from his finger instead.

Spencer taught handwriting at age 15. Often he was so engaged with his lessons, he forgot to collect pay from his students.

His script has been described as rhythmic, comfortable and derived from natural forms. During lessons Spencer often brought in items from nature such as rocks, to show the forms had similar curves to handwriting.


4
Horace Woodbury Shaylor Jr., ca. 1880

Horace Woodbury Shaylor Jr., ca. 1880

Item 74179 info
Maine Historical Society

Though the Spencerian Script was an established penmanship technique, it was soon taken over by the Palmer method.

The Palmer method omitted the curls and swirls, focusing instead focused on legibility, rapidity, ease and
endurance.

Palmer introduced "muscle motion," which focused on writing with the proximal arm muscles, rather than finger muscles. In fact arm movement was so instrumental that the method suggests a penman cut off the right under sleeve of his shirt, as to not obstruct movement, therefore producing better results.

A. N. Palmer (1860-1927), like Spencer, had a mother who was widowed.

Palmer attended the Bryant and Stratton Business College. He later went on to work as a clerk and bookkeeper where he learned that speed was important in the world of business. Speed became a major part of Palmer's writing philosophy.

At 28 he founded a penmanship magazine, The Western Penman and published Palmer's Guide to Muscular Movement and Writing. The guide appealed to Catholic schools because of its emphasis on hard work and discipline.

In 1904 Palmer attended the St. Louis exposition where a New York City superintendent witnessed his writing methods. Four years later half the public schools in NYC were teaching the Palmer method.

Palmer had offices in New York, Chicago, Cedar Rapids and Maine. By his death 25 million people had been taught the method and it was continuing to be taught in three quarters of the schools in America.

Neither Spencer nor Palmer acknowledged left-handed writing.


5
Augusta C. Shaylor, ca. 1905

Augusta C. Shaylor, ca. 1905

Item 74302 info
Maine Historical Society

Horace W. Shaylor moved to Maine in 1861 at the age of 18, arriving with only two dollars. Shaylor got work as a business college instructor.

He lived in Portland with his wife, Augusta, and their two children, Horace Wood Jr. and Luella (Evelyn) Shaylor.


6
Harmon summer home, Massachusetts, ca. 1900

Harmon summer home, Massachusetts, ca. 1900

Item 74390 info
Maine Historical Society

Shaylor's daughter, Luella, born in 1871, was an artist who worked as a sculptor and a painter, specializing in miniatures.

She and her husband, Harry True Harmon, lived at 147 Pine St., Portland. Her studio was located on the top floor of her house, which provided the best light.

She attended the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts and later moved to Massachusetts. Luella was associated with the National Academy of Design, Gloucester North Shore Art Association, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Society of Independent Artists and Boston's Vose Galleries.

She was elected into seven prominent art clubs in the country, and was appointed to serve on the Jury of Society of Miniature Painters, based in Pennsylvania.

Harmon believed "work is play" she truly loved painting and sculpting, but she also believed that "home comes first," that she "wouldn't put art over her woman's duties and family life."


7
Shaylor Engraving Company, Portland, ca. 1900

Shaylor Engraving Company, Portland, ca. 1900

Item 74198 info
Maine Historical Society

Horace Jr. (1870-1952) was an engraver who started Shaylor Engraving Co. on Middle St. in Portland.

Horace Jr. lived in the Falmouth Foreside with his wife, Rose, and daughter, Georgina. He was a member of the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association and The Portland Club.

He retired from his engraving company in 1938 and moved to Santa Monica; there he died after a long illness at 84.


8
Shaylor advertisement, ca. 1881

Shaylor advertisement, ca. 1881

Item 74457 info
Maine Historical Society

A decade after moving to Portland, Shaylor Sr. began publishing penmanship textbooks. The books were a success; two million copies were sold in five years.


9
'A Calendar of Stray Thoughts,' ca. 1900

'A Calendar of Stray Thoughts,' ca. 1900

Item 74191 info
Maine Historical Society

Shaylor went on to become the supervisor of drawing and writing in the Portland Public School district.

In 1915 he retired and as a parting gift he prepared calendars for all Portland Public School teachers.


10
Goose Eye Mountain, 1896

Goose Eye Mountain, 1896

Item 74456 info
Maine Historical Society

In February 1921 Shaylor and his daughter both held art exhibitions in Portland. Luella featured her famous miniatures depicting her daughter, son-in-law, and herself.

Her father, who rarely showed his artwork to those other than close friends, featured pencil drawings and watercolor images of Maine landscapes.

The exhibitions were reviewed highly, with a particular emphasis on the rarity of a father-daughter show.


11
Hiram Bridge pencil drawing, 1909

Hiram Bridge pencil drawing, 1909

Item 74156 info
Maine Historical Society

In 1925, Shaylor donated 125 pieces of artwork to the Nathan Clifford School and the Butler School including pictures in pencil, watercolor, India ink, ink, and illumination.

Along with donating all the materials including the frames and hanging wire, 80-year-old Shaylor supervised the hanging of the art.

The "Shaylor Corridor" also included a bust of Horace W. Shaylor by his daughter and a bronze tablet relief of HWS with a memorial testimony written by former pupil, William B. Jack, superintendent of Portland Public Schools. The tablet dedication reads:

This Corridor
Is Dedicated to
Horace W. Shaylor
Who Was Forty-Five Years
Teacher, Guide, and Friend
To the Boys and Girls of Portland
--------
He Opened the Door to the
World Beautiful, and Little
Children Saw the Happy Island
The Peaceful Valleys, and the
Everlasting Hills.

One proviso to his gift was that if the pictures were no longer wanted by the schools, they would be sold and the proceeds would be placed in a fund for unfortunate and indigent teachers. Shaylor started the fund by writing a $1,000 check.


12
Horace W. Shaylor Sr., Portland, 1906

Horace W. Shaylor Sr., Portland, 1906

Item 74449 info
Maine Historical Society

Shaylor died on December 30, 1925 at age 80. He had been ill for two weeks prior to his death.

Shaylor was a member of the National Penmanship Association, the High Street Congregational Church and State Street Church Society.

Shaylor had been a teacher of drawing and penmanship for 51 years.


This Exhibit Contains 12 Items