The Emergence of Braille Technologies, 1860-1951
Louis Braille invented the writing system that was named after him in 1820s France. Braille was imported into Canada from the 1860s onward, enabling Canadians who were blind to read, write and communicate. Yet activists like Edgar B.F. Robinson and others needed to struggle with sighted administrators well into the 20th century before braille was fully integrated into the educational system. Braille also paved the way for technological innovation, from the slate and stylus to mechanical braillewriters. The first braillewriter was the US-made Hall, to be followed by the German Picht braillewriter and several more. Many view the Perkins braillewriter, developed in 1941 out of the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts, as the most practical and durable of these designs –a “premiere” machine.
Image descriptions: Image of Edgar B.F. Robinson (c.1900) embedded within the text. Beside the text is a slate and stylus, vertically oriented, alongside a Hall braillewriter (c.1892), a Picht braillewriter (c.1900) and a Perkins braillewriter (c.1951).