Niccolo Niccoli is credited by many scholars as the inventor of modern cursive, according to the Chicago Tribune. Niccoli's cursive is known as "italic" and does not feature elaborate curly-cues.
Niccoli's method was popular for many years until the 19th century. According to Jennie Cohen of History.com, cursive underwent a change with the introduction of the Spencerian method. The Spencerian writing method was created by Platt Rogers Spencer. In the late 1890s, Austin Norman Palmer introduced the Palmer cursive method. The Palmer method was marketed as an easier, less fancy version of Spencerian cursive. By the 1920s, the Palmer method was used in many American school systems.