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古書

古書教育・スポーツ・心理洋書

視覚障害に関する英語による稀覯書二種 ④

Printed in Moon-Characters
(ムーン氏によって発明された印字)
The Gospel of Saint Marc printed for the blind
(盲人のために浮彫印刷されたSaint Marcの福音書)
MOON, William. The Blind Beggar, in type for the Blind, invented by W. Moon. Brighton, William Moon, no date [after 1887]. Oblong 4to (170 x 280 mm), 1 leaf printed recto-verso in regular type, 21 leaves printed on rectos only with embossed characters including the explanatory leaf with a key to the Moon-Type; original printed wrappers (signs of wear). ¥1,462,000円 (送料・税別) MOON, William. [The Gospel according of St Mark, printed in embossed lettering for the blind]. London, National Institute for the Blind (Moon Society Branch), no date [1915].  Oblong folio (277 x 342 mm), 1 unnumbered leaf, with the printed title ‘A Simplified System of Embossed Reading for the Use of the Blind’, followed by 91 embossed leaves printed on rectos only; contemporary cloth backed boards (rubbed).

¥1,470,000円 (送料・税別)

The Blind Beggar opens with an advertisement leaf with detailed information on the recto on ‘Origin & Success of Dr. Moon’s type for the blind’, followed by the ‘Daily united prayer for the blind throughout the world’; the verso contains a long ‘List of works embossed by Moon’s Society’. The second leaf printed in both regular alphabet and embossed type contains ‘A Simplified Alphabet for the use of the Blind’ with the key to the different characters and punctuation.

A very rare and early example of a book printed in embossed Moon-type, invented and developed by William Moon (1818-1894), headmaster of the School for the Blind in Brighton. Moon, born in Horsmonden (Kent), lost sight in one eye from scarlet fever and had become totally blind by the age of twenty-one. He became a teacher and taught children how to read by using existing embossed reading codes. As his pupils found those reading codes difficult he devised a new system which he named after himself. The “Moon-Type” was based on a simplified Latin alphabet.

His idea was formulated in 1843 and the first book was printed in Moon-Type 1845. Moon-Type was subsequently replaced in popularity by Braille but is still important for people having difficulties in reading Braille.
Very rare, no copy in the American Printing House for the Blind.

The Gospel of Saint Marc printed in embossed Moon type for the blind.

William Moon, born in 1818, contracted smallpox as a young child and by age 21 had lost his sight completely. Frustrated by the quality of the embossed reading systems he tried, he developed his own system based on roman lettering, with portions of the letters omitted in order to make the characters more discernible to the touch. Moon’s system was easy to master, particularly for those who had learned to read before losing their sight, and it became very successful.

The present printing of the Gospel of St. Mark, which is entirely in Moon type, is here preceded by a leaf headed ‘A Simplified System of Embossed Reading for the Use of the Blind”, which is printed only partly in Moon type and in which the alphabet is explained.

Various editions of books of the Bible were published in Moon type, in both England and America, as early as the mid-19th century. The present edition of the Gospel according to St. Mark was published in about 1915 by the National Institute for the Blind (whose name changed in 1914 from ‘The British and Foreign Blind Association for Improving the Embossed Literature of the Blind and Promoting their Employment’), perhaps in part to fulfil the needs of the high number of blind veterans returning from World War I.

This tactile edition is very rare and is not recorded in the library of the American

Printing House for the Blind.

 

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A member of Japanese Association of Dealers in Old Books
JADOB [approx.2,200 members in 2010]

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