Ten things you never knew about…handwriting

1. The earliest known handwriting was on clay tablets in Mesopotamia around 3,300BC.

2. The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to use joined-up (cursive) writing.

3. The US Declaration of Independence in 1776 was originally handwritten.

4. About 3,000 UK businesses use handwriting analysis as part of their selection procedures. In the USA, such graphology, as it is called, is illegal.

5. According to a survey by Cunard cruise lines, 26 per cent of British adults have not sent or received a handwritten letter in the last 10 years…

6. …but 89 per cent of us say we would love to receive more handwritten letters.

7. An average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long.

8. The 15th century German abbot Johannes Trithemius thought printed books were a terrible idea and handwritten manuscripts greatly superior.

9. German theologian Martin Luther complained: “The multitude of books is a great evil.”

10. “You may not be able to read a doctor’s handwriting and prescription, but you’ll notice his bills are neatly typewritten.” (US columnist Earl Wilson).