Blind Spot: The Backstory on Night Writing

Naomi S. Baron
Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World

Touch is obviously a critical component of reading for people using Braille. Those raised dots representing letters of the alphabet have an interesting backstory. While it was Louis Braille who in 1824 created the system currently used for making written text accessible to those with visual impairment, we have a French army captain to thank for the idea. In response to a demand from Napoleon to devise a system enabling soldiers to read messages in the dark without needing light. Charles Barbier de la Serre invented “night writing,” a system based on twelve raised dots.

And so for day 2846

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