Louis Braille didn't invent Braille. As a boy he attended a school for the Blind in Paris, He learned how to read but not to write. Back then Blind People learned how to read raised letters with their fingertips. This form of writing was very difficult to read. In 1821 a soldier named Charles Barbier came to visit the school. He bought with him a system he had invented called 'night writing'. Barbier had designed it for Napoleon; who wanted a secret code that could be used at night. It proved to be too complex for soldiers to learn and was rejected by the army. Louis Braille realized how useful this system of raised dots could be for the Blind. He set to work simplifying it. His system used six dots instead of the 12 used in Barbier's code. Now Blind people could learn to read as well as write.
Perkins Brailler - slate & stylist - electronic Braille note taker
How Does It Work?
Before computer technology, the devices people used to produce Braille were as old as Braille its self. The Perkins Brailler works like an old fashion typewriter. Its six keys produce the six dots of the Braille cell. The slate is a simple device used to punch out the dots using a stylist. These devices are still in use today. Computer technology has begun to replace these devices with electronic Braille note takers, refreshable Braille displays and Braille embossers; but the old ways of producing Braille will still be around as long as sighted people keep using pens.