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Throwback Thursday Object: Espinasse Braille Duplicator

Our object this week would allow a small shop toemboss its own braille publications and in a very unique way. Designedfor small scale braille reproduction, the Espinasse Braille Duplicator wasinvented in 1954 and sold for about $250. From the instruction manual,”There is a master plate and a punch plate which each have 3200holes. The punch plate is fitted with small punches in each hole; it isfitted over the master plate and the braille is written with a frame [slate]just as in ordinary writing. An awl [stylus]pushes the small rods inthose cell holes forming the letters into the master plate. The masterplate is placed on a flat bed; a pressure roller is drawn over the master plateand the paper on which the embossing is to be done, and when lifted off, thepaper contains an excellent grade of braille.” It was made by theSociete Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques du Sud-Est, a French aircraftmanufacturer which emerged from the nationalization of the French aeronauticalindustry in 1937. (That explains the really cool dragon logo on the side of thealuminum frame.) The company merged with another regional firm in 1957 toform Sud Aviation. Likemany items in our collection, APH purchased this example to see if it hadapplication in the educational market.

Stan Greenwood
A humble human, who is always found working on something or drinking coffee. A perfect introvert who talks barely anything but shares a lot through his blog posts at FredForum.

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