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Miracle Worker: 1908

Miracle Worker: 1908

New York circa 1908. "Blind woman taking dictation on machine." 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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Ah, Braille

I thought this looked like the machine my friends used but when shorthand was mentioned I had to search. The stenotype machine has many more keys than the Braille seven: six for the dot pattern and one to advance character.


There are many levels of blindness. Some cannot see anything including light. Then some can see some light or objects, but can not bee optically corrected. Then there is legally blind, that is vision of 20/200. This can often be optically corrected to a point. I come under the next lrval, vision impaired. My vision can be corrected to the point that I am able to drve. However, I failed my preinduction physical in 1967. Under the ADA, I too am classified as blind. I hope that makes it clearer.

Braille or shorthand?

Clearly this elderly woman, while legally blind (defined by vision below a certain acuity) is not sightless. Many blind people can see light, dark, color, and shapes. It isn't just a "somebody turned out all the lights" condition. What I wonder is what is the output format of what she is typing. That sort of looks like a Braille writer. It certainly isn't a traditional typewriter. Or is she typing shorthand?

Definition of Blind

I believe there is a partial blindness that declares one "legally blind", even though one may have partial vision. I have a friend who is blind in one eye only but can see somewhat out of her other eye, so she is classified as "legally blind" and is not allowed to drive, but she does read and watch TV.


Why the glasses if she is blind?

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