The Perkins Brailler
If you are old enough to remember what a standard manual typewriter (not electric) looks like, or have seen one in an antiques store, the Perkins Brailler will look familiar to you. It looks much like an old typewriter, but has instead a single row of 6 keys, one for each dot used in a braille cell. Braile is typed quickly onto a sheet of heavy paper. Mistakes are “erased” with a wooden eraser that simply flattens the errant dots (a fingernail also works!))
The Perkins Brailler used today has changed little from the design that first came out in 1951 from Howe Press and the Perkins School for the Blind. A comprehensive history of the Perkins Brailler is available from the Perkins website.
To see a Perkins Brailler in action, check out this quick video, “How Blind People Write Braille,” hosted by Tommy Edison.
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