Historical Perspective


Founding Members:


Eileen Richardson, Fred Richardson, J.J. Bailey, H.J. Walter, Charles Begin, Rene Guillard, Enrique Benguria

In 1949, while building a cottage on an island in Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Eileen and Fred Richardson had a vision in which penmen could get together and share techniques and ideas not just about doing fine penmanship, but teaching the art as well. The following year a group of master penmen met at Lake Nipissing and formed a group called the International Association of Master Penmen and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPTH). In 1973, the letter 'E' was added to recognize the contributions of engrossers and remains as we know it today, IAMPETH.

Those present with the Richardsons were their mentor, J.J. Bailey of Chicago, H.J. Walter of Chicago, Charles Begin of Quebec City, Rene Guillard of Evanston, IL, and Enrique Benguria of Cuba. This group's main interest was to find a way to restore penmanship in schools and improve the handwriting of young people.

Since that first gathering on Lake Nipissing, the organization has met every year, attracting both young and old alike who share the love of calligraphy, engrossing and beautiful penmanship.

Here are some historical photos from some of the early IAMPETH conventions. Pictured are past President P.Z. Bloser (Zaner-Bloser), E.A. Lupfer of The Zanerian College, Louis DiGesare and Mrs. F.B. Courtney (wife of the late pen wizard).

Click on the photos for a full-size image.

Historical Photo #1
Second Annual Meeting in Ottawa, Canada
July 1951
Historical Photo #2
The banquet was interesting and very successful.
E.A. Lupfer (left) and E.H. Fearon (right)
Historical Photo #6
The historical P.R. Spencer monument in the
Geneva cemetery. From the left: DiGesare,
Guillard, and Fred Richardson
Historical Photo #4
A group at Geneva examining scrapbooks. From the left: Louis DiGesare, Jr., H.J. Walter, P.Z. Bloser, E.F. Edel
Historical Photo #5
Those who attended the convention enjoyed informal gatherings between regular sessions. From the left: Rene Guillard, L.A. DiGesare and son, Mrs. F.B. Courtney, E.H. Fearon, P.Z. Bloser, E.F. Edel
Historical Photo #3
P.Z. Bloser demonstrates as Lyons, DiGesare,
and others look on.