History of Braille

  • Early tactile systems used raised letters (slow to read and write)
  • 1813: Louis Braille blinds himself at age 3 with a sharp tool while playing in his father's shop — infection speads to other eye
  • 1819: Charles Barbier, a French army artillery officer uses raised dots based on sounds, not letters, for messages to/from artillery batteries
  • 1825: At the age of 15, Louis Braille invents a letter-based 6 dot (3x2) system that fits under a finger, followed by 12 years of improvements before fully elaborated in 1837
  • 1932: Officially adopted in Great Britain and the US (improvements in 1957)
  • Grade 1 (alphabet and punctuation) and grade 2 contracted braille (189 letters, words and parts of words)
  • www.brailler.com/braillehx.htm: excellent history starting with the crusades