The Tale Of Braille

No doubt there are many languages the world over, and one that we may not always think of is braille.

Did you know that the concept of braille initially started in the early 1800s with a soldier named Charles Barbier? He served in Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army, & developed a unique system known as “night writing” so soldiers could communicate safely during the night. Several soldiers had been killed because they used lamps after dark to read combat messages. The light shining from the lamps told enemy combatants where the French soldiers were, and they would be ambushed and killed. But with this "night writing" system, they could remain under the cover of night better.

Then in 1820 an 11-year old boy named Louis Braille, who was born in the village of Coupvray, France, accidentally blinded himself. He accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father’s awl. Braille’s father was a leather-worker and used the awl to poke holes in the leather goods he produced.

This misfortune inspired him to modify Charles Barbier’s “night writing” code in an effort to create an efficient written communication system for others who were blind, like himself. After modifications were made to make the process easier and faster, the braille system was named after him and spread across Europe and into North America.

Codes and symbols have helped us communicate throughout our history. To learn more about braille, you can go to:

MeiroKodo donates 10% of its profits to the blind. To learn more about MeiroKodo, go to:

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