The Acquisitions Table: The Blind Child’s First Book

Howe, Samuel Gridley. The Blind Child’s First Book. Third edition. Boston: New England Institution for the Education of the Blind, 1852.
This is a fairly early (and rare) example of printing for the blind using raised type known as Boston Line, developed by the book’s author Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), who gained national fame as the founder and public face of the New England Institution for the Education for the Blind, later the Perkins Institution. A forerunner to the dot system of Braille, Boston Line incorporates the shapes of letters used by seeing readers. The text encourages its blind readers to develop the senses that they do have, reminding them, “You can learn to hear much better than people who can see.” The Blind Child’s First Book joins the thirty Boston Line books now held in the AAS collections.

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