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Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog



Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answ



Updated: 2017-03-29T12:46:19.952-04:00

 






Throwback Thursday Object: Rare Talking Book

2017-03-23T14:28:36.722-04:00

Gulliver’s Travels
Our object this week is a recent find, and very significant.  In February 1936, APH installed a model recording studio in a small room in its already overcrowded building and began experimenting with a new idea:  the Talking Book.  The braille presses were humming, but American Foundation for the Blind President Robert Irwin had convinced the APH leadership that recorded books were the next big thing.  That year, APH recorded five books and the first, narrated by Louisville radio pioneer Hugh Sutton, was the Jonathan Swift classic “Gulliver’s Travels.”  Last autumn, an electrician in Colorado Springs named Michael Lucas got in touch with our museum.  He had fourteen vintage Talking Books from the earliest days of the program, and among them was a copy of Gulliver.  APH only pressed about 100 sets of that first book.  When Talking Book libraries began to convert from phonograph records to cassettes, most of these early records were destroyed or discarded.  This might very well be the only surviving copy of Gulliver.  We are very much looking forward to hearing Hugh Sutton, our first narrator, read again, so look forward to hearing it soon in this spot! (The photo shows a closeup of the record label).

Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind



Quick Tip: BrailleBlaster, Part 2

2017-03-22T15:08:40.549-04:00

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Throwback Thursday Object: The Musicwriter

2017-03-16T09:00:16.061-04:00

Did you know that March is Music in Our Schools Month?  Our very unusual object this week is the Musicwriter, a patent electric typewriter whose key set was altered to type the full range of musical symbols.  It was invented by the prolific American composer Cecil Effinger in Colorado Springs in 1954, originally to type up musical scores.  The company he founded to manufacture it lasted more than thirty years.  Effinger, interestingly enough, taught instrumental music at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind for a few years in the late 1930s.  At APH, his invention was used to prepare proofreading copies of music in print as they were being translated into braille.  Braille sheet music used to be a major line at APH and our vaults are still filled with the stereotype plates used to emboss the music. (The photo shows the Musicwriter, and we include this information caption: The Musicwriter was a heavy gray aluminum machine, shoehorned into the case of an Olympia typewriter, but with a large cable to allow it to be connected to a computer.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind



Quick Tip Video: How to Be a Field Tester. Want to be a vital part of the APH product development process? Become a field evaluator!

2017-03-15T10:56:27.245-04:00

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