By Jann Alexander
How one thing leads to another.
I followed the stenciled signs on the scarred deck floor showing a lobster with letters that said, Live & Cooked, because I was on a lobster roll hunt, in Maine and . . . well, wouldn’t you?
A little while later, I was rewarded with one very fine succulent lobster roll, accompanied by a free local brew—a friendly gift from strangers who had a few left in their carry-in six-pack.
But it wasn’t a Pearl, from the ancient empty delivery box I had discovered along the pathway to lobster nirvana. That would be The Gem of Fine Beer (“It’s Lighter”) 1886 Pearl Lager. What was an old Pearl box, from an historic San Antonio microbrew that grew to be the largest brewer in Texas (under the leadership of the founder’s widow, Emma Koehler), doing in a popular lobster-and-lunch spot in South Freeport, Maine?
Well, who knows. Mystery unsolved, but inspiration triggered—because that Pearl logo was a fine example of 20th-century cursive design. Ironically, cursive fonts first appeared in the 1880s, about the same time the Pearl brewery launched its German-formula signature beer in Texas. The use of cursive typefaces peaked from the 1930s through the 1950s, during an era when script handwriting was valued, and the retro Pearl logo is evocative of that style.
More irony: while cursive fonts are still just as popular today as beer and lobster rolls, cursive handwriting is fading from our elementary school curricula. Called longhand, cursive writing, script—it’s no longer valued enough for our children to learn it. Which ought to make cursive fonts surge in popularity, or disappear entirely, once no one knows how to write in cursive any longer.
I’m rooting for the underground cursive movement. ♣
When did you learn to write longhand?
For more on Pearl beer, cursive and lobster rolls:
- Visit Pearl, a very cool culinary and cultural destination on the banks of the San Antonio River
- Learn from the best: DesignModo offers a history of cursive and shows off some fabulous cursive webfonts
- Practice your cursive with a roundup of free fonts from Creative Bloq
- Eat your Maine lobster roll on the deck as the lobstermen roll in with more at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster
- Travel back in time with me in Time Travels