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Chronological Sketches

History of Education of the Sightless

1254 King Louis IX of France founded Quinze-Vingts, the first-ever formal institution for sightless people, providing 300 French knights whose eyes were put out as a punishment by the Saracens during the crusade
1745 Valentin Hany, the founder of the first blind school, was born
1771 Hany witnessed 8 sightless people from Quinze-Vingts performing a jocular dance at the St. Ovid’s Fair in Paris and became convinced of their potentials
1784 Valentin Hany founded the Royal Institution for Blind Children, the world’s first blind school in Paris depending on books of raised letters on soaked paper
The following blind schools were soon founded using many of Hany’s ideas and methods
1791 First blind school established in England at Liverpool
1804 First blind school established in Austria at Vienna
1806 First blind school established in Germany at Berlin
1808 Ironically, the first working print typewriter was devised in Italy to help a blind countess produce legible writing for sighted people
1822 Valentin Hany died in Paris
1824 Louis Braille developed Braille system (named after him and used now all over the world) upon Charles Barbier’s artillery code of dots and dashes using 6 dots
1837 The State of Ohio set up the first blind school in the USA
1841 A blind inventor, Pierre Foucault, invented a machine called a “piston board,” to punch complete dot-drawn letters
1847 Pierre Foucault invented the “keyboard printer” (essentially, a typewriter) enabling blind people to write to sighted people in black type
1868 William Bell Wait introduced New York Point system, a variant of Braille, popularly used in America (later eclipsed by braille system)
1886 First institution for the sightless in India set up at Amritswar
1894 The setting up of Calcutta Blind School, the first of its kind in Eastern India, by Lal Bihari Shah
1916 Braille was adopted as the standard method of reading and writing for sightless people in the USA

The Life of Monsieur Louis Braille

Jan.4 Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille system, was born at Coupvray near Paris
1812 Louis injured his eye in an accident while playing with his father’s tools
1819 Louis got admission in Hany’s school
1823 Louis saw the tactile artillery code of dots and dashes used for communication in the dark developed by Charles Barbier
1824 Louis developed Braille system upon Barbier’s method using 6 dots
1829 Louis published Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them, his first complete book about his new system
1834 Demonstration of Braille’s system in the International Paris Exposition of Industry
1837 The first braille book, a three-volume history of France, was published
Jan.6 Louis Braille died of tuberculosis
1854 France adopted Braille as its official communications system for blind people
1870 Acceptance of Braille system throughout Europe
1952 Louis’s body was interred in the Pantheon on his death centenary following a huge public ceremony at the Sorbonne attended by dignitaries from all over the world including Helen Keller

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