Albert D. Taylor
Portrait and bio taken with permission from Michael Sullís
"Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship, Volume I"
A. D. Taylor, "the Wonder of the Penmanship World," was born
near Somonauk, Illinois on August 21, 1863. His first writing lessons were from H. H. Miller,
a traveling writing teacher. While still in his teens, he won the prize (a year's subscription
to The Business Journal, an early penmanship magazine) for the greatest improvement in penmanship
within one year's period.
In 1883 he took a commercial course at Elliott's Business College in Burlington, Iowa, studying
penmanship from noted penman IW Pierson. In 1885 he studied with A. N. Palmer in Chicago for
several months, and in August was employed as a penman by the Bryant & Stratton Business College
of Chicago. After spending a year with this school he spent some time in New York, then in
1887 he traveled again, accepting a penman's position at the Los Angeles, California Business
College. He remained there for 2 years, afterwards accepting a job with Mr. Elliott once more,
returning to Burlington, Iowa for a 3 year period. During 1892 he was employed to fill out
names on invitations for the World's Columbian Commission. He was next employed with the Chicago
Guaranty Fund Life Society as a policy writer. in the mid 1890's he worked for the Galveston,
Texas Business University, performing duties as penman and correspondent.
Throughout his life, A. D. Taylor astounded the penmanship profession with his writing. He
succumbed to tuberculosis at the age of 35 years. Despite his youth, he is remembered as one
of the most highly skilled penmen of all time. His writing was phenomenal it was considered
to be the finest and most perfect that could be performed by the human hand. Unlike the bold,
dramatic style of Madarasz, A. D. Taylor's work was delicate and fine in detail, with a precision
of spacing and letterform that was absolute. He died in San Antonio, Texas on December 27,