Braille Writer has become a common usage term referring to the Perkins Braille Writer manufactured by Howe Press. These machines are the workhorses of manual braille preparation.
In using them, the index, long and ring fingers of each hand are placed on the keys to the left and right of the long space bar in the center front. Dots 1, 2 and 3 are created by pressing the left-hand index, long or ring finger. Dots 4, 5, and 6 are created by pressing the right-hand index, long or ring finger. To create more than one dot, the machine allows you to press those keys simultaneously.
The far left key is the sheet feed (line down) key. The far right is the backspace.
Paper is loaded from the back and wound into the machine completely before beginning. As each line is completed, the paper is fed out the back of the machine.
Note the length of the keys. Because of the pressure needed to press the keys, the manufacturer built in extra key length to allow the first two joints of the fingers to be on each key. Our typing and keyboarding teachers may have yelled at us for flattening out our fingers. Now, at last, flattening out the fingers is allowed, in fact encouraged.