BLIND PRINTING. A Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of Literature for the Blind: And Practical Hints and Recommendations as to Their Education. With an Appendix, Containing Directions for Teaching, Reading, and Writing to the Blind, With and Without a Regular Teacher. By James Gall. xx, -388 pp. Illustrated with 3 embossed plates. 8vo., bound in nineteenth-century half morocco. Edinburgh: James Gall et al., 1834.
First Edition: scarce. James Gall (1784-1874), an Edinburgh printer, publisher, and wood engraver, occupied premises in Niddry Street after about 1819. In the Report of the Royal Commission on the Useful Arts (1852, p.414), Gall was commended for his zeal and patience in his attempts to produce the perfect code for tactile reading.
'It is to Mr. Gall, perhaps, more than any other man, that the interest in education of the blind was awakened throughout Great Britain and America'. Later, in 1837, Gall was to describe how, 'perceiving that angles were more readily felt than rounds, and that the outside of the letter was more easily felt than the inside, he modified the alphabet into its most simple form, throwing the characteristics of each letter to the outside, and using angles instead of curves'.
First introduced to public scrutiny in 1831, Gall's angular Roman type was first used in any significant way for the printing of The Gospel of St. John in 1834. Gall's Historical Sketch was one of the most comprehensive studies on the literature of the blind of its time, as well as one of the earliest in the English language. It is still valuable as a remarkably detailed and comprehensive account of the early development of specialist printing for the blind and the beginnings of the provision of real charitable education for blind people. This copy contains two additional plates of music, not issued with the book, which was published with just the one plate.
Craigie, Bibliography of Scottish Education 85. See also: Illingworth, History of the Education of the Blind, p.8 et seq.
Item nr. 142262