Believing that America needed a style of penmanship that could be written quickly, legibly and elegantly for both business correspondence and personal letter-writing, in 1848 American educator and handwriting teacher Platt Rogers Spencer published, with Victor M. Rice, Spencer and Rice's System of Business and Ladies' Penmanship. This was the first publication on what came to be called Spencerian Script, a style of handwriting that became the de facto handwriting style in the United States from about 1850 to 1925 when it is superceded by the typewriter.
Spencer established a penmanship school, and quickly turned out graduates who left his school to start replicas of it abroad, and Spencerian Script thus began to be adopted in ordinary education
"Spencer never saw the great success that his penmanship style enjoyed, having died in 1864, but his sons took upon themselves the mission of bringing their late father's dream to fruition. This they did by publishing and distributing Spencer's unpublished book, Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship, in 1866. Spencerian Script became the standard across the United States and remained so until the 1920s when the spreading popularity of the typewriter rendered its use as a prime method of business communication obsolete" (Wikipedia article on Spencerian Script, accessed 09-19-2010).