Charles Paxton Zaner
Charles Paxton Zaner
|Born||February 15, 1864|
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died||December 1, 1918 (aged 54)|
Mifflin, Ohio, United States
|Occupation||Master Penman and Educator|
|Known for||Business and Ornamental Penmanship, Editor, Education|
Zaner was born near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He attended G. W. Michael's Pen Art Hall course in penmanship in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1882. By 1888, Zaner had been a teacher of penmanship at two Ohio colleges, and after the second had closed, he decided to open his own college where he could teach the art. Zaner's school was originally known as Zanerian Art College and was a joint venture with Lloyd Kelchner. In 1891, Zaner sold Elmer W. Bloser a share of the school. Kelchner left before the end of the year, resulting with Zaner and Bloser becoming equal partners. This company eventually became what is now the Zaner-Bloser Company and operated the Zanerian College of Penmanship in Columbus, Ohio.
Zaner died on the evening of December 1, 1918, in Mifflin, Ohio, when the car in which he was riding was struck by an oncoming train.
Movement and Form
Zaner examined the idea of movement creating the form of letters written in the cursive hand using the muscular arm method, prevalent in the United States from the late 19th century (e.g. Palmer Method). He considered the hinge action of the forearm as the central energy of movement and that its relation to the direction of writing, or page angle, could affect letter form and the effort required. By changing from a page angle which placed letter down strokes on a line towards the center of the body, as other educators advised, Zaner offered a means to link muscle effort with balanced (medium), condensed (compact style), or extended (running hand) letter forms.
- Speaking Solutions: Penmanship's Storied Past and the Technological Roots of Its Revival, By Karl Barksdale
- Biography by Michael Sull
- The New Zanerian Alphabets, Charles Paxton Zaner, 1900 Scanned reproduction of 1900 book by Zaner.
- William E. Henning (2006). ELEGANT HAND, THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN PENMANSHIP & CALLIGRAPHY. Oak Knoll Press. ASIN B000TZR6P8., including illustrations of Zaner's calligraphy.
- History of the Zaner-Bloser Company
- Works by Charles Paxton Zaner in the Zaner-Bloser, Inc. / Sonya Bloser Monroe Penmanship Collection
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