Miss Polkadot: Hall Braille Typewriter
The visually handicapped and the blind cannot read or write in the eighteenth
The Italian Pellegrino Turri di Castelnuovo elaborates further on this idea when he designs a typewriter for countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzonno. Her letters have been wonderfully well preserved!
This path continues further in the nineteenth century, as for example with the French Raphigraphe. It has a fan of 10 rods that all carry a stylized part of certain letters. To form an 'A', four keys have to be pressed at the same time.
To adapt normal letters for the visually handicapped seems be a roundabout way of doing things as there is already an alphabet system for the blind: Braille. The Frenchman Louis Braille becomes blind when he is three, but is eager to learn. He comes in contact with the system that the Military use to read messages at night - a system of raised dots and lines. He simplifies this to six points in unique combinations with which he forms all letters, numbers and punctuation marks. In 1929, the Braille alphabet is ready for use.
This, for example, is Typewriter.be in Braille:
Board and pen
The first Braille writers are far from user friendly: they are made up of a board with holes which you press through with a pen - holes are made instead of raised dots. Result: you have to write from right to left in Braille mirror writing!
Hall & Perkins
at last changes in 1892 with the Braille writer (or 'Brailler') made by