Much has been written on the history of the acrostic as a form of wordplay, both in Word Ways and elsewhere, and I do not intend to dwell upon the aspect of the genre. Suffice to say that the acrostic seems to have first appeared in the 1850s, had its Victorian heyday, and then disappeared from mainstream wordplay as it gave way to the crossword puzzle in 1913.
Word Ways: Vol. 34
, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol34/iss4/8