When did the round “s” supplant the long “s”?

The modern form of the letter s began to be used in print to the exclusion of the old s form or long s about the time of the American Revolution. Before that time it was customary for printers to use both forms of the letter. The long or cursive s was used any place in a word except at the end, where the round s was used. This practice had an interesting origin. The long s was a modification of the Roman s, which was unsuited to rapid writing and which was gradually changed to a waved upright or sloping line. In printing the long s took the form of f. The f used in printing German is still of this type. The ancient Greeks used two different forms of Sigma (s), one form at the end of a word and another form elsewhere in a word. Later writers in Europe followed this practice. Early English writers used the f form at the beginning of a word or elsewhere in a word except at the end, where the long s was always used. These two different forms of the small s existed in English printing until near the end of the eighteenth century. It is supposed that John Bell, of London, was the first publisher to discard the long s entirely. This he did in his edition of The British Theater, printed about 1775. Printers objected to the f-form s because of its resemblance to f. In 1786 Benjamin Franklin wrote: “The round s begins to be the mode, and in nice printing the long s is Dejected entirely.” Gold Brown, in his Grammar of English Grammars, published in 1851, observed: “The letter ss, of the lower case, had till lately two forms, the long and the short, as f and s; the former very nearly resembling the small i, and the latter, its own capital. The short s was used at the end of words, and the long s (written almost like f, but more oblique), in other places; but the latter is now laid aside, in favor of the more distinctive form.” The long s persisted much longer in handwriting. In his Abraham Lincoln: the War Years, published in 1939, Carl Sandburg wrote: “Like his ancestors, Robert E. Lee referred to England as ‘the old country,’ wrote impressed as impressed, show as shew.” Long after Lee’s time many people still wrote ss for double s. The capital S has undergone little change through the centuries.