In my blog entry on penmanship the video link mentioned how handwriting analysis had become very popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I have a handwriting analysis for my Great Grand Aunt Edith Toppin.
Unfortunately it is not dated but Edith Toppin was born in 1874 and died in 1946 so if she was over twenty one at the time then it would be after 1895.
What I have is the form that “The World-Famed Graphologist” “Miss Wagner, Co. Cork, Ireland” filled in with the analysis. The form has a section down the side with “Press & Public Opinions” which includes one from Montreal and other parts around the globe. There is a list of “Bazaars and Fetes” where she will be appearing and magazines where I am presuming she was mentioned.
The fees for this service were 1/- (one shilling), 2/6 (two shillings six pence) and 5/- (five shillings). No explanation of what you get for each of those fees was mentioned. Edith provided Miss Wagner with a handwriting sample and signature. What the sample was and how she signed her name are not included. Here is the transcription of the deduced characteristics of Edith from her handwriting.
You are cheerful, persuasive, agreeable, affable & pleasing in friendly & social relationships Mental & philosophical sides of life appeal to you – Tastes are refined you are hopeful courteous, bright & impressionable – Intuitive in grasp of people – character & situations – skilful in managing – avoiding irritating – & getting on well with many met. Good sense of humour wit – fun & playfulness A merry heart – tolerance of what must be put up with or tactfully ignored for peace sake at times
Good sense – brains intelligence management – expenditure & results pleasing effects – with when required fairly thrifty outlay
A wish for harmony – proportion fitness – suitability & becomingness critical acumen – ideals & ideas good writers, musicians – artists – teachers & accountants – you can appreciate points in many ways, good domestic traits – the finely organised & artistic temperament – that helps to make a tasteful happy home.
Fidelity in life’s closets ties & relationships an uncongenial alliance would be fraught with serious & hurtful results for you you should be successful in making friends & way in the world – kind to pets & children your lucky gem is the turquoise bringing prosper
Your colours are gold & brown – typical of personal aspiration & pleasure in many things in daily life & existence – In some ways ease pleasure & loving – with as well tenacity that adds persistence & slight obstinacy in sooner or later arriving at intentions & purposes
Your flower is the holly bringing the seasons happiness – you should be accurate in aim & execution – enterprise & calculations
Ingenious in striking out ways & means a fix in & helpful in suggestions & ready assistance Quick & sharp in perceptions, inferences & diagnosis if the topic puzzling dilemma tc
[Some] love of being comfortable – Ready ability to imitate & reproduce what you admire – This should give you correct taste in household – personal & feminine matters – consulted in – [Frank] – believing in freedom of speech – Quick to [nite] weakest point in others armour – over activity – worry or restlessness would be injurious to health – Fresh air out of door life exercise in moderate degree are good
Some of these items sound like they would be expected of any female of the time. I wish I knew Edith to see if any of these traits were true and what she was really like.
©2011 – Blair Archival Research