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Louis Braille (1809-52) invented and gave his name to an alphabet and a system of reading and writing for the blind. Braille, a Frenchman, became a teacher of the blind at the age of nineteen and soon afterwards (in 1829) published his first book in Braille, in Paris.  He also used his skill as a musician (he played the organ in a Paris church) to adapt his system to the special needs of music.

Braille's system consisted basically of six raised points on a flat surface in various combination and was far superior to previous methods, which has concentrated in the main on the use of raised type.  Nowadays, Braille is used and taught in schools for the blind throughout the world and books and literature of all kinds are reproduced in Braille in considerable quantities.

But this great benefactor of mankind, who invented the system named after him, died at the early age of forty-three, long before Braille had become accepted or even recognised as the remarkable invention it undoubtedly is.  Moreover, Louis Braille never in fact saw any of his own books in Braille-he had been blind from the age of three. 

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