1821: Charles Barbier presents his ‘night writing’ system, using embossed dots, to students including Louis Braille at the Royal Institution for Blind Youth. Night writing was designed for soldiers to communicate silently at night.

1824: Louis Braille improved upon night writing by reducing its 12 dot patterns to 6. He also realised it would be easier to use Braille if the symbols represented letters rather than the sounds that formed the basis of night writing.

Present day: Braille scripts now exist for almost all languages, from Cantonese to Catalan. There are also mathematical and musical Braille scripts.


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