Moon, William

Moon, William
SUBJECT AREA: Paper and printing
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b. 18 December 1818 Horsmonden, Kent, England
d. 10 October 1894 Brighton, England
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English inventor of the first effective embossed reading type for use by the blind and visually handicapped.
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Having lost the sight of one eye from scarlet fever at the age of 4, by the time he was 22 he had become completely blind. Dissatisfied with the existing Frères system of embossed letters, he established that the twenty-six letters of the alphabet could be encompassed in only nine variously positioned symbols. These were sufficiently adaptable so that by the time of his death they had been utilized for 476 languages and dialects. Although superseded for more general use by Braille, the Moon system is still in current use for those with defective touch sense and other disabilities. With the assistance of his son, who became a physician, and his daughter, who continued the work after his death, he established a centre in Brighton where the production of Moon transcriptions in still carried on.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society 1852. Fellow of the Society of Arts 1857. LLD University of Philadelphia 1871.
Bibliography
1868, Blindness, Its Consequences and Complications, Brighton. 1873, Light for the Blind, Brighton.
Further Reading
Rutherford, 1898, William Moon and his Work for the Blind.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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