Below is a timeline of the history of Quikscript. It is purposefully not
all-inclusive but it should give the uninitiated a general idea of Quikscript's relatively low-key history. For a more comprehensive history, please go to the links
page to find websites detailing the history of Quikscript.
July 26th, 1856
George Bernard Shaw (later known as "G.B. Shaw"), is born in Dublin, Ireland.
February 19, 1887
Ronald Kingsley Read (aka "Kingsley Read," the creator of Quikscript) is born near Birmingham, England.
Issac James Pitman (friend of both Kingsley Read & G.B. Shaw, later to be known as "Sir James Pitman") is born.
G.B. Shaw's play "Pygmalion" debuts. It will later be known as G.B. Shaw's thinly-veiled attack against traditional spelling of words & their differences with pronunciation. It's protagonist is a phonetician.
Kingsley Read reads a preface written by George Bernard Shaw for the book, "The Miraculous Birth of Language." The Preface is considered G.B. Shaw's first public appeal for an alternate English alphabet.
January 1942 - End of 1942
Kingsley Read, already with an interest in English spelling reform, sends G.B. Shaw his first draft of an as-of-yet unnamed alternate English alphabet in January 1942. They correspond for the remainder of the year.
Kingsley Read sends G.B. Shaw the first draft of a manual detailing his proposed alternate alphabet. G.B. Shaw is impressed enough to send a copy of the manual to C.K. Ogden (inventor of "Basic English," a simplified subset of the English language).
June 12, 1950
G.B. Shaw's Will is signed. A part of the Will calls for the funding, design & implementation of an alternate English alphabet.
November 2, 1950
G.B. Shaw, at the age of 94, dies from injuries sustained after falling off of a ladder a few days earlier.
After November 2, 1950
That part of the Will calling for the funding, design & implementation of the new alternate English alphabet is successfully challenged in court & declared invalid. Sir James Pitman, a close friend of G.B. Shaw, intervenes & negotiates a settlement of 8,300 pounds to be used for this part of the Will.
A competition is announced to find the new alternate English alphabet. 467 entries are submitted & 4 entries are announced as the "winners," to have the grand prize of 500 pounds split evenly. Eventually, Kingsley Read's alphabet (the predecessor of Quikscript) is chosen as the actual winner.
November 20, 1962
2 editions of Androcles & the Lion, a play written by G.B. Shaw, is printed & distributed. Each book contains a rendition of the play in both the normal alphabet & Read's alphabet. An invitation, printed in the book, invited those interested to create writing circles so that they may become proficient in the alphabet.
After November 20, 1962
Sir James Pitman, whom earlier agreed to help Kingsley Read with correspondance in the new alphabet, becomes too busy to assist in the alphabet any further (Interestingly enough, he creates his own alternate English alphabet, which is used as a teaching aid in British schools in the 1960's).
Kingsley Read goes on to establish an extensive writing circle from people of several English-speaking nations. He prints a newsletter called "ShawScript" for an undetermined number of years. He also creates a typewriter that writes in the alphabet. At some point, he realizes that his alphabet can be improved. He makes those revisions & tests them with his writing circle.
Quikscript (also known as "Quickscript," "Kwikscript," "Kwikskript," "The Read Alphabet" & "The Second Shaw Alphabet") is created.
Kingsley Read dies at the age of 88.
A 27-page feature on Quikscript appears in "The Surprise Edition of Cole's Funny Picture Book, Vol. 2" (a publication in Australia) written by Cole Turnley.
Sir James Pitman dies at the age of 84.
April 2, 1999
In conjunction with another alternate English alphabet, Bob Richmond creates a single webpage specifically for the Quikscript alphabet. This is the earliest known dedicated webpage for Quikscript on the World Wide Web. The date of April 2, 1999 is taken from when the actual webpage was created.
November 27, 2000
Jayson Barber releases the first known (unnamed) Quikscript font onto another alternate English alphabet message board at 1:58 AM EST. He beats a Jon Zuck, also releasing the first version of his own Quikscript font, "Jerome," by 15 minutes. The name "Jerome" is derived from St. Jerome, who allegedly befriended a lion after removing a thorn from it's paw. The only mainstream publication using an alphabet made by Kingsley Read is G.B.Shaw's "Androcles & the Lion."
Later that day, it is decided to use the character mapping of a prior alternate English alphabet as a standard. This character mapping will later become the standard for all other Quikscript fonts to come (including kwikscript, kingsley & King Plus).
Later that day, Jon Zuck publishes the first modern document using a Quikscript font - "The Lord's Prayer."
November 29, 2000
The "Read Alphabet Yahoo! Group" is established. It is considered by Quikscript enthusiasts as being the most comprehensive Internet resource for the Quikscript alphabet.
December 11, 2000
Jon Zuck releases his final (and current) version of the "Jerome" font.
February 25, 2002
Rick (aka "geoflyfisher") modifies the "Jerome" font & releases it as the "Junior" font. It is the first-known Junior Quikscript font.
March 12, 2002
Ewout Stam creates his Quikscript website. With a .PDF of the Quikscript manual, the only 2 Quikscript fonts then available (Jerome & Junior) & a brief summary of Quikscript, it becomes the premier website for those interested in Quikscript. Although it has not changed much since it's inception (with the exception of a graphical re-design), it remains a popular destination for those interested in Quikscript.
April 9, 2002
The first message board where Quikscript messages can be written in fonts designed for it debuts at "Shavian.org." The first message written in Quikscript on that board is on April 13, 2002.
May 7, 2002
Terry Smithwick (aka "tinyallen") releases the font "QSJ Block". It is the second-known Junior Quikscript TrueType font & third Quikscript font overall.
June 3, 2002
Simon Ager, the creator of the "Omniglot" website, adds a Quikscript webpage to his website.
Aug. 31 - Sep. 3, 2003
Stephen Bartok releases a Junior Quikscript font named "kwikskript" on August 31, 2003. It is designed to better emulate the actual representations of letters in Kingsley Read's manual. On September 3, 2003, he creates a significant revision to this font & re-names it "kingsley." The revision allows for more accurate viewing when the font size is reduced to 10pt or less.
December 2, 2003
The Internet website, "Quikscript Outpost," is established by Stephen Bartok. It is the first Internet website to house an openly accessible tutorial & dictionary for Quikscript. Also, the final revision of the "kingsley" font is released on the same day that this site opened. It is re-named "King Plus."
May 22, 2004
August 16, 2004
"oliverlangan" (from the Yahoo! group) releases his first proposal for Unicode encoding of the Quikscript alphabet.
November 4, 2004
Robert McBroom (from the Yahoo! group) demonstrates a draft of his new & unnamed Junior Quikscript font in a .PDF.
December 5, 2004
Robert McBroom (from the Yahoo! group) releases a modified version of his previously unnamed Junior Quikscript font. It is named "Jeremy," & it becomes the 6th Junior Quikscript font & 7th Quikscript font overall.
June 11, 2005
Albert V. Nguyen ("khoalb" from the Yahoo! Group) provides the first "artistic-based" Quikscript calligraphy known to exist. One is entitled "Read Quikscript" & the other is "Tear."
July 23, 2005
A webpage about Quikscript is created for Jeffrey Henning's "Langmaker.com" website. The website concentrates on being a repository for constructed languages ('conlangs') & writing systems ('neographies'). Although the webpage for Quikscript is available on July 23, 2005, it is not reported on the website's main page until August 9, 2005.
September 7, 2005
"jeff_smith_8992" from the Yahoo! Group provides the first computer program for IBM-PC compatible computers that specifically converts normal text into Quikscript text. Based upon prior messages, the program was written earlier but not released until this date.
April 1, 2006
Ewout Stam's single webpage about Quikscript disappears. No explanation is ever given for its disappearance.
April 27, 2006
"amd64_hacker" from the Yahoo! Group provides the first computer programs written in Perl that specifically converts normal text into Quikscript text. This person will subsequently improve upon these programs.