Manufacturer: The New York Institution for the Blind
Made in: New York, USA
The Kleidograph is a mechanical writing machine for the blind that embosses raised dots into paper for the typist to read with their fingers. The Kleidograph was invented by William Bell Wait (1829-1916), when he was the Director of the New York Institution for the Blind. Please see the wonderful photograph below that shows students at the school with their Kleidographs. The Kleidograph was designed to type with the 'New York Point System', a system of eight dots - a horizontal row of four dots on top of another row of four dots. The New York Point System was widely used by American schools for the blind and was the standard for typing and reading during the last quarter of the 1800s. Eventually though, Louis Braille’s six dot system became the international standard and the New York Point System became obsolete but not before a much-publicized battle by Mr. Waite, his supporters and the advocates of the more globally accepted Louis Braille system, which included Helen Keller. The Louis Braille system became to be known, somewhat ironically, as American Braille.