Taken From The Business Educator, October 1937
A. W. Dakin was born at Hilsdale, N. Y., Feb. 21, 1859, and moved to Tully, N. Y. At the age of 18 he became interested in penmanship through Gaskell's Compendium of Penmanship, a book that influenced many to drop the plow and take up the pen. He received a high school education, then at the age of 20 he began teaching penmanship and advertising his work. For two years Mr. Dakin carried on an extensive advertising campaign in the Penman's Gazette, Penman's Art Journal, Western Penman and Business Educator, making and selling large specimens, deer, eagles, horses, etc. For six years he taught penmanship in Well's Commercial College, Syracuse, N. Y. His next venture was to open a business school known as Dakin's Business Institute, Syracuse, which he conducted for about 20 years. The school was purchased by the Central City Business School, and for the past 21 years he has taught penmanship in that institution. His skill in penmanship was acquired by following the work of Madarasz, Dennis, Kibbe and Gaskell's Compendium. In June, 1883, he received a letter from that great master of ornamental writing, L. Madarasz, offering him a position writing cards and doing miscellaneous penmanship. Mr. Dakin accepted the offer and went to New York to handle the mail orders for Madarasz while he had a try out as a Shakespearian actor. At the end of three months Mr. Madarasz found he was a much better penman than he was an actor and took his mail business back. About 25 years ago Mr. Dakin invented a style of knifemanship that he called Card Carving and became quite famous as an artist in this line of work. Mr. Dakin will be glad to examine the work of persons following his course. We hope some of the old timers will surprise him with some of their work.