Six Dots: The Story of Young Louis Braille

Surely you knew that braille is the alphabet and writing system used by blind and visually impaired people, but did you know that it was invented by a fifteen-year old boy who was accidentally blinded at a young age?

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Maria Popova of Brain Pickings wrote a fantastic review of Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant. With lovely illustrations by Boris Kulikov, it is a children’s book about how Louis Braille went blind at the age of three due to eye infection after an accident at his father’s workshop, and how he went on to invent the writing system that is still in use today.

… the turning point in [Braille’s] life came when he was three. His father was a leatherer specializing in horse tack in a small town near Paris. One day, while playing at the leather workshop, little Louis disregarded his father’s admonition not to toy with the sharp tools. … Trying to imitate his father, he set out to puncture a piece of leather. But the awl slipped from his tiny hand and stabbed him in the eye.

… the dispirited young Louis soon saw a new frontier of hope — the headmaster delivered news that a French army captain had invented a military communication code using patterns of dots to represent sounds. Louis learned to read the patterns, then to write them — using a wooden frame and a metal ruler, and punching the dots with a sharp instrument akin to the awl with which he had blinded himself as a toddler.

Read the rest over at Brain Pickings | Six Dots over at Amazon.

Source: neatorama

Rating Six Dots: The Story of Young Louis Braille is 5.0 / 5 Votes: 3
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