Frederick W. Tamblyn
Portrait and bio taken with permission from Michael Sullís
"Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship, Volume I"
Frederick W. Tamblyn was born on a farm in western Kansas
in 1870. At the age of sixteen, he gained his first start in penmanship under the instruction
of Mr. Goss, an itinerant writing teacher. The gracefulness and beauty of the writing fascinated
young Tamblyn, and he was filled with a determination that would allow nothing to prevent
his progress in mastering the techniques of ornamental penmanship. He learned a great deal
while studying on his own, scanning the pages of such penmanship magazines as Gaskell's Guide,
The Western Penman and the Penman's Art Journal.
After graduating from High School in Paola, Kansas, he attended and subsequently graduated
from the Central Business College at Sedalia, Missouri. Here he remained for five years as
a member of the faculty. In 1894, after an experience as an itinerant teacher, he spent some
time in engrossing and teaching in St. Louis, and in 1897, located permanently in Kansas City,
Missouri. For forty years Mr. Tamblyn conducted business there, turning out exceptional work
in engrossing, card writing, and most significantly lessons by mail. In this last category
he was a pioneer, establishing himself as the leader in correspondence courses for nearly
two generations. He was a very successful and most inspiring teacher, who strove to impress
upon his students the necessity of faithful application that was paramount to achieving proficiency
in penmanship. At the time of his death on February 16, 1947, it was estimated that he had
trained over 40,000 men and women in penmanship through his "lessons by mail."