The article deals with the reflection of spelling studies in the editions of the early 20th century in those areas that did not attract the attention of theoreticians of the reform of Russian written language of this period, and, namely, the use of capital letters. Given the inadequate formulations of the existing rules formulated by Y. K. Grot, the authors and publishers of texts in this period have an understanding of the need for individual development of the principles of writing in a number of areas — these are the names of institutions and clubs, the names of state and administrative positions, and the names of brands. The author names the development of those principles a zone of "spontaneous" codification and describes it in the publications of the periphery of the Russian Empire (Baku and Tiflis), choosing primarily commercial and business texts. This analysis allows us to compare the period of a hundred years ago with the modern spelling situation, when the rules often describe a more archaic state of affairs than at the beginning of the 20th century. Comparing the two peripheral spelling zones and areas of their spontaneous codification in different periods of the history of Russian writing, we have found certain similarities in the type of implementation of the rule of capitalization in the early 20th and early 21st centuries.