On This Day In History: Louis Braille – Creator Of Alphabet For Blind People Died – On Jan 6, 1852

AncientPages.com - On January 6, 1852, died Louis Braille, creator of the Braille Alphabet For Blind People.

Braille was a French teacher who devoted his life to developing and teaching the Braille system of reading and writing that could help blind people.

His wonderful system composed of “Six dots. Six bumps. Six bumps in different patterns” helps to form numbers, letters, words.

Braille and his work

Louis was  born on January 4 in 1809. in a small town Coupvray, near Paris, France. Louis became blind accidentally in his father’s workshop, when he was 3 years old. Trying to be like his father, he grabbed an awl, a sharp tool for making holes; the tool slid and hurt his eye. The wound got infected, and the infection spread, and soon, Louis was blind in both eyes.

He stayed at his old school for two more years, but he couldn't learn everything just by listening. Louis got a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, when he was 10 but the library had only 14 huge books with raised letters that were very hard to read.

This situation changed in 1821, when a former soldier named Charles Barbier visited the school, sharing his invention called "night writing," a code of 12 raised dots that let soldiers share top-secret information on the battlefield without even having to speak. Unfortunately, the code was too difficult for the soldiers, but it was perfectly understandable for 12-year-old Louis Braille, who published the first-ever braille book in 1829.

Only a few years later, he added symbols for math and music, but his system wasn’t still accepted, officially, and blind students had to study Braille on their own.

After Braille’s death, the Braille system began to spread worldwide in 1868, when a group of British men, now known as the Royal National Institute for the Blind, took up the cause.

Now practically every country in the world uses Braille as an international standard, and is used in double-sided Braille books in 43 languages of the world. All blind people around the world can communicate independently, without needing print.

In 1916, Braille came to be officially recognized and adopted by schools and educational institutions for the blind in the United States. In 1919, the Braille Institute was founded. The institute now produces more than 5 million Braille pages each year. By 1932, a universal braille code for English was officially adopted.


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Braille Works