Handwriting on Car


I was leaving a coffee shop and spotted this in the parking lot. I don't know what the story is, but it may be one of my more unusual handwriting finds as far as surface. It was not an art car - this was the only writing on it.

I can also tell you from experience, that the sharpies will fade over time. I had an idea to do a "quote car" art car once, and realized there was a big flaw in the plan that sharpies wouldn't last in the sun!

Handmade Book Page


I met a young man, McCartney Johnson, who makes books and asks people he meets to write in them. We had a serendipitous meeting and he allowed me to take photos of some of the pages of his book. He has amassed 17 of them in about a year and a half.

Dry Milk Recipe


This came from a recipe card file that had almost no index cards in it. Almost all the recipes were written on scrap paper.

Today is National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day is today, January 23. Handwriting gives an intimacy to the written word that nothing else can duplicate. It illustrates the writer has taken extra time and energy to communicate their thoughts. Whether in journals, letters or grocery lists, those words by hand give a glimpse into the personality of their creators. 

Studies on the benefits of handwriting have been done by the Coll├Ęge de France in Paris, University of Washington and Indiana University, among others. Science has shown that children learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand. They remain better able to think creatively and retain information.  Printing, cursive and typing all produce specific brain patterns. When we compose by hand instead of on a keyboard, more ideas are generated. There's also evidence of greater brain activity in areas with associated with working memory, as well as those associated with reading and writing. 

January 23 was chosen for National Handwriting Day to coincide with John Hancock’s birthday. Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, and his famous signature is beautiful, complete with flourishes.  National Handwriting Day was first launched in 1977.


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What's Lost As Handwriting Fades in New York Times

How Handwriting Trains the Brain in Wall Street Journal

Why Writing by Hand Could Make You Smarter

How Cursive Writing Uniquely Helps Brain Development

How Does Handwriting Affect Brain Development


Cary Grant note from 1955



Mader's Restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been in business since 1902. Their hallway is filled with notes from people who have enjoyed their food over the years. We first discovered their sauerbraten in June of 2014. It's worth making a special trip for!

Thank You Note


A reader asked for a photo before Christmas and sent this Thank you note afterwards. Her handwriting is very unusual.