Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Invisible writer turns 200.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of someone whose writing system has helped millions of people ... but none of them have seen it.

Louis was born on the 4th of January, 1809. He was a gifted child, learning to play the cello and the organ at a young age.

Between the ages of 12 and 15, he invented a revolutionary new writing system. Loosely based on a clever "night-writing" code he learned from a soldier who visited his special school in Paris, the writing system won official recognition in 1854, two years after his death. Today it is widely recognized (though not widely studied) and bears Louis's surname, Braille.

In honour of Louis, I'm leaving images out of this entry. Just on the off chance that a blind person reads this post with a Braille reader. Check out the Wikipedia entries on Louis and his alphabet for plenty of images.

And why not send a card to someone you know using his alphabet?

Happy 200, Louis!

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