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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

-0001

1945

  • Work on this object began.

1952

  • Work on this object ended.

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Tellatouch Braille Writer (USA), Designed ca. 1945 and manufactered ca. 1952

This is a Tellatouch braille writer.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Museum of American History as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated Designed ca. 1945 and manufactered ca. 1952. Its medium is plastic, metal and leather.

Designed for users who are deaf-blind, the Tellatouch Braillewriter was developed by the American Foundation for the Blind. Braille is a tactile language developed in France by Louis Braille, a teacher of the blind, in the 1820s. Standardized in 1932, several types of Braillewriters and other inventions were developed to generate and enhance communication for blind people. The Tellatouch closed the distance between people who rely upon sight, sound and fingertips to connect but employed neither batteries, electrical signals, memory chips, nor paper. The keyboard resembles that of a conventional typewriter, but each key lifts a Braille letter one at a time on the opposite side of the console, where a person reads the six-point cells that compose the letters. The Tellatouch is very much a product of mid-twentieth-century design: its postwar styling quotes briefcases, pocket flasks, and automobile seats, conveying fashion and corporate office as much as words.

It is credited Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 306619.11.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (open, inc. strap): 9.5 x 25 x 27.3 cm (3 3/4 x 9 13/16 x 10 3/4 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35460701/ |title=Tellatouch Braille Writer (USA), Designed ca. 1945 and manufactered ca. 1952 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>