Pre-Braille Bible

Did you know there was a pre-Braille Bible? It was published in 1842 by physician Samuel Gridley Howe, the husband of Julia Ward Howe who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic. After graduating from Harvard Medical College in 1824, he was offered the position as the director of a new school for the blind in Boston in 1831. In 1842, he published the first pre-Braille Bible. Instead of using the system of raised dots, Howe raised the actual words on the surface of the page for the blind to read. This kind of type, called Boston line letter, was used until the 1900s when Braille became more common. Samuel Howe’s school changed its name in 1839, becoming the Perkins Institution for the Blind, where Helen Keller, it’s most famous student, attended.


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