The First Class Book for the Blind

Unknown, The First Class Book for the Blind (Sunday School Union: London, 1840; Edinburgh, J. Gall). Book, Gall type. Dimension: 140 x 413 x 40mm (open)

RNIB Collection Acc No: L1/9

Unknown, The First Class Book for the Blind (Sunday School Union: London, 1840; Edinburgh, J. Gall).

Credit: RNIB

The lesson contained in this primer is again a moral one, moving from simple verbs of motion to reflections on sin. Gall published several accounts of his experiments as well as surveys of other embossing system, including with this class book a statement on ‘Printing for the Blind’. In these accounts, he also argued that as writing was merely a substitute for speech, there was no reason why the alphabet form could not be adapted to facilitate blind people reading by touch, although he still held touch to be inferior to vision.


James Gall, 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 (Edinburgh: James Gall, 1834)

Object Description:

This book is open on the second page. The left hand page is contains reversed embossed writing from the first page. The right hand page contains embossed writing, an adapted version of the Roman alphabet in which curves and circle shapes have been changed to angular shapes. Each letter is fretted, rather than a continuous raised line. There are 9 lines, all justified to the right and left, apart from a short third line and an indented fourth line. The text reads: ‘in the way of sin. The [new line] way of sin is the way [new line] of wo. [new line]. Do not sit by the [new line] bad. The bad go in an [new line] ill way Wo be to the [new line] bad Go not in the way [new line] of the bad. The end [new line] of the bad is wo [new line] [Description end]

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