Perkins Brailler

This machine is commonly known as a braille writer. Early in the 20th century braille writers were produced by Howe Press. They were expensive, noisy, heavy and needed frequent repair, however. The director of the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts in the 1930s, Dr. Gabriel Farrell, wanted its printing department to produce a better machine. He found the man to do the job, David Abraham, teaching in their woodworking department. Abraham also had had training and experience as a mechanic and designing and building machines that manufactured stair railings. When Dr. Farrell learned of Abraham’s ability with machine design, he asked Abraham to design a new braille writer with the help of Dr. Edward Waterhouse, a math teacher. The three men developed the specifications for the new machine. The brailler prototype was completed in November 1939. After World War II production of the braillers began. That machine has changed little over the years and is the same brailler known worldwide today.

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