(*Portrait and bio taken with permission from Michael
Sullís Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship, Volume I.)
Joseph J. Bailey
most well known penman, was Edward C. Mills' foremost student, and except for
Mills, Bailey was unsurpassed by anyone in plain, rapid, business penmanship.
After graduating from the Zanerian College of Penmanship in 1910, he became
associated with both elementary and high school systems in the teaching of
penmanship. He was author of The Bailey Method of Penmanship that was used in
the high schools throughout Ontario,
Alberta and Saskatchewan for over 40 years. He also
wrote 3 textbooks and a teachers' manual for use in elementary schools. One of
the founding members of the International Association of Master Penmen,
Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting, J. J. Bailey was also an Honorary
President of the Ontario Penmanship Association. A dedicated teacher, he
significantly influenced the education of handwriting in Canada during
the first half of the twentieth century. Among his many students were Frederick
and Eileen Richardson.
See all ten of
the beautiful pages by clicking HERE
following was taken from The Pen Manís Newsletter, Vol
4 Number 3 (1970)
Eileen Richardson, Editor
Friends of Good Penmanship:
issue is dedicated to the memory of Canada's foremost penman, J. J.
Bailey and his lovely wife, Mary. Mary Banks Bailey died on July 30, 1970 and
J. J. died on October 21, 1970. He would have been 91 on November 24. Besides
being an expert penman, J. J. was a master of English and a champion rose
grower. He was author of a textbook "The Bailey Method of Penmanship"
which has been used in the high schools of Ontario for over 40 years. He also wrote 3
textbooks for use in elementary schools as well as a teacherís manual. His
texts were also used in the provinces of Alberta
The script in the Bailey Method is unsurpassed for high school and more
advanced students. E. C. Mills, his teacher, said, "No one ever wrote ten
finer pages than those written by J. J. Bailey which were published in the
Business Educator in 1929-1930. These pages have been reproduced here for your
information, enjoyment and inspiration.
Banks Bailey was a teacher in Toronto.
At that time, every elementary teacher in the city of Toronto had to attend night school and take
Penmanship from J. J. Bailey before being granted a permanent certificate to
teach. This is how they met. J. J. taught night school to Toronto
teachers for 30 years in addition to teaching Penmanship at the High School of Commerce during the day. As a result,
the handwriting of the Toronto
children was excellent. For example, Alan Richardson attended elementary school
in Toronto and when the family moved to Aurora, the teacher was so impressed by Alan's handwriting
that she went to Toronto
to find out how to do it.
Baileys were both generous, hospitable people. In going through some of the
correspondence from them, it is interesting to note that they always said,
"Come and see us." We often did. The picture of the Baileys on the
''In Memoriam" page was taken from a group picture of our wedding party,
December 15, 1945. My husband, Fred, Jean Boyes and I
were his favorite students, Fred being his best one.
foremost penman, was one of a group of seven who founded the International
Association of Master Penmen and Teachers of Handwriting. He was one of the
founders of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and one of the
founders of the Teachers Superannuation.
teacher, he was tops. Tops too as a penman. In all the world he was unsurpassed in plain, rapid, business
penmanship. He was E. C. Millsí foremost student. When he went to Columbus, Ohio
in 1910 to attend the Zanerian College of Penmanship, Mr. C. P. Zaner, the
greatest all-round penman in the world, told him that he couldn't show him
anything better than his own (J.J.'s) plain, rapid
script. His "Bailey Method of Penmanship" is superb for a business
college, high school and adult use. His best work was probably done in 1925
after a summer spent in building a stone wall at his sister's cottage on Lake Simcoe where he worked alone and had to lift and
place stones of up to 250 pounds. He designed the "Bailey Transparent Form
Chart" made of transparent plastic with the letters and figures stamped on
it in black, He was an excellent ornamental penman as
people could match him in wit. He and H. J. Walter kept us all in stitches during
the whole week of our first convention. He was Hon. President of the Ontario
Penmanship Association when it was an active part of the Ontario Education
Association Commercial Section at the Easter meetings. J.J. like so many of the
master penmen, liked motoring. In the early 1920's, he drove 25, 000 miles a
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