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Louis Braille (1809- 1852), the inventor of Braille printing Born on 4th January, 1809, at Coupvray, near Paris, Louis Braille was blinded at the age of three in an accident that occurred while he was playing with tools in his father’s harness shop. A tool slipped and plunged into his right eye. Sympathetic ophthalmia and total blindness followed. Nevertheless, he became a notable musician and excelled as an organist. Barely 16, Braille, then a student at the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris in 1825, spent every waking moment outside class poking holes in paper, trying to develop a more efficient way to represent print letters and numbers tactually, taking the clue from Charles Barbier. He published a treatise on his type system in 1829, and in 1837 he published a three-volume Braille edition of a popular history schoolbook. Two centuries later, Braille printing retains its significance as an invaluable tool of learning and has been adapted to almost every known language worldwide. Louis Braille died on 6th January 1852 at the age of 43 from tuberculosis, having lived a successful life as a teacher, musician, researcher, and inventor. Louis Braille’s house in Coupvray, France, is now a museum. On the wall, a plaque says that Louis Braille was born in the house and invented the system of writing in raised dots for the blind. It also says, “He opened the doors of knowledge to all those who cannot see.”

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