21 August 2013

L. C. Smith & Corona: Foundation Brailler

The history of Braille and modern Braillers are well know, but before the Perkins, there were a variety of Braillers. One of the last designs which never made it was based on a typewriter design. L. C. Smith & Corona made such a Brailler for the American Foundation for the Blind, Inc.

On the front it is supposed to say:

American Foundation for the Blind, Inc

New York, N.Y.

But it is worn or scratched away. Perhaps some student was idly touching the Brailler without realizing it was wearing away the printing there? It is a beautiful machine, and I imagine it to be most fascinating to touch without any sight. However, I also imagine it to be most awkward to use, especially for feeding paper and trying to read what one is writing. The carriage is complex, compared to the modern design (which originated in 1951).

It works beautifully and the case is very robust. The top comes off, but for the photos, I removed the Brailler from the case entirely.



  1. These are beautiful devices.

    Nearly all of them I've seen have worn decals.

  2. They're used heavily. A classmate in college had a Perkins that he brought to every class. Imagine how often you pick up a pen or pencil to write something down -- that's how much use those Braillers see. Amazing machines, and built like tanks.

  3. Gorgeous. You are very lucky, my friend.