Lloyd M. Kelchner
Portrait and bio taken with permission from Michael Sullís
"Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship, Volume I"
One of the finest all around penmen who ever took pen to ink, Lloyd Kelchner's work in
ornamental penmanship, pen art illustration and offhand flourishing served as an
inspiration to thousands of individuals for 60 years. Well into his eighties, he continued
to produce exquisite work.
Born in Light Street, Pennsylvania, Mr. Kelchner's skills in writing were developed while
attending G. W. Michael's Pen Art Hall in Oberlin, Ohio in the early 1880's. It was in
1883 that he met C. P. Zaner and E. W. Bloser, fellow students with Kelchner at Michael's
school. Four years later, Kelchner and Bloser secured positions and taught in Delaware,
Ohio, and later, both men worked at the Euclid Avenue Business College in Cleveland. A
strong friendship grew between these men and Zaner that lasted their lifetimes.
In 1889, Lloyd Kelchner purchased a half interest in the Zanerian College of Penmanship in
Columbus, Ohio which had been established the year before by Mr. Zaner In 1891, Mr. Bloser
came to Columbus and purchased a third interest in the Zanerian. The partnership ran for
almost a year when Kelchner sold his interest and left for Dixon, Illinois to teach in the
Northern Illinois Normal College. He then accepted a teaching position at the Highland
Park College in Des Moines, Iowa.
The year 1909 is recorded as the point in Kelchner's career when he moved to Seattle,
Washington and became a teacher in the Seattle Business College. He remained in Seattle
the rest of his life. Over the years he taught thousands of students engrossed countless
resolutions, and lettered the names on many thousands of diplomas. He contributed
articles, lessons, and samples of his own work to various penmanship magazines,
particularly the Business Educator, for several decades, and was particularly known for
his unique style of bird flourishing. Each year for over 40 years he made a tradition of
designing his own Christmas cards. These colorful cards featured beautiful penmanship and
dramatic bird flourishes, and were prized by his friends and associates.
Lloyd Kelchner kept in close contact with the penmanship profession, maintaining strong
friendships and earning the respect of penmen everywhere. He passed away after a short
illness on July 5, 1948.