Shortly after dinosaurs ceased to roam the earth, and before cursive was just a font, lovely children would gather in classrooms to study penmanship

If these students wanted to communicate something to a friend during class, they would use their newly acquired skill of penmanship to write a message on paper, fold it, and hand it to someone to pass to the person who the message was intended for. This was called “passing notes”, and if they were caught doing it, the teacher would humiliate them by reading the note out loud to the entire class.

Report cards were at one time distributed on paper, and they were sent home with the child. The parent would sign the report card, because it was required to be returned with a signature

There was a time when inhabitants of this planet would read books that were printed on paper. Some romantics loved the smell and feel of books on paper, although the weight of a paper book was often lamented by students who had to carry them from class to class, and then home at the end of the day.

If I were to collect items for a time capsule, I would collect: paper, pen, a handwritten love note, a book, and a paper report card. These items would be housed in a cardboard tube, just like the one once used to transport Mr. Brady’s Plans.


Paper- a substance made from wood pulp, rags, straw, or other fibrous material, usually in thin sheets, used to bear writing or printing).

Signature– a name written in cursive by the person whose name is written in cursive.

Penmanship the use of the pen in writing, a person’s style or manner of handwriting

Cursive– (of handwriting) in flowing strokes with the letters joined together.

Pen– the pen as the instrument of writing or authorship

Mr. Brady– the dad, an architect, from the 1970’s television show “The Brady Bunch” (not to be confused with football player Tom Brady)

Mr. Brady’s plans- Archetectural designs that Mr. Brady drew on paper, then rolled and packed into yellow tubes for transport. (Not to be confused with football plays used by the football player Tom Brady)


The Daily Post, March 6, 2015 , Daily Prompt, Time Capsule, What would you put in this year’s  capsule to channel the essence of our current moment for future generations?

10 thoughts on “Pre-Technology

      1. Oh, it’s awful. I look forward to a generation (or two) of totally arthritic thumbs and shoulders from texting and holding their phones to their ear with their shoulders so they can talk and text!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m sorry about penmanship, but I can’t read my own handwriting anymore. I started touch typing when I was 11 and haven’t done anything but sign my name since. I love the smell of a new book, it’s heft and texture. I don’t miss trying to fit yet another piece of transient fiction into my exploding bookcases. I’m nostalgic about these things … but I don’t miss them … and I don’t miss the wholesale leveling of forests to make paper. I know I lack that romantic thing about books and the old days that people my age generally share, but I like computers and electronic communication. I am more inclined to genuinely miss CONVERSATION with living people. No one hears anyone these days.

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    1. Those are great points (she typed into her phone). I’m a bit of a hypocrite regarding technology. I do love my books, but also read books on my phone. I’m all for saving trees by using less paper. Paper sales must have taken a hit in the past few years. I agree, it’s unfortunate that conversation has taken a hit as well. The changes that have taken place in my lifetime are beyond belief. I guess I’ll focus on the positive. I can’t imagine going back to a typewriter. Handwriting though, is something I never thought would be written off. (Pun intended)


  2. I still have my cursive writing skills, and when I was back in school a few years back, my teacher was impressed. I guess I was one of few, and mine also happened to be legible. It’s a pain compared to regular print, but if you practice, it can be quite beautiful and evidently impressive.

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      1. Yeah unfortunately. If I have kids, maybe I’ll teach it to them. Who knows, maybe it could get them some style points! 😀

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  3. I love this post, Lydia. Who do you think makes these decisions to suddenly drop a part of the curriculum such as the teaching of cursive? It has been dropped in Mexico, also. Soon letters written in cursive will join the dead sea scrolls as great mysteries of communication. What can they have been saying? “Before cursive was just a font.” Ha. Soon the font will have to become obsolete as well for no one will be able to read it. Thoroughly enjoyed your essay. Judy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judy! It’s really odd. All the old documents that they’ll have to have experts decipher. That might end up being the job of the future… How much will cursive interpreters make?


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