Atlas for the Blind, 1837

From the spectacular David Rumsey Map Collection, the 1837 “Atlas of the United States Printed for the Use of the Blind“, embossed heavy paper featuring lines, letters and geographical symbols, destined to help blind children to visualise geography.


Here’s the whole book with zoomable pages.


Captions from David Rumsey’s site:

Below is the map of Maine, with dotted lines showing the border with Canada and New Hampshire.



The text page titled “map of maine, explanation” that follows the Maine map:



This enlarged view of the Vermont map shows the various symbols used as well as the impressions of the underlying blocks used in the embossing method. Mountains are shown as a series of short lines in this detail of the Green Mountains:



The map of Florida:



The map of Michigan:



This enlargement of the map of the District of Columbia shows Washington (, Georgetown (g), and Alexandria (a) as well as the President’s house (p) and the Capital (c).


The title page to the atlas:


The first page of the introduction to the atlas, explaining the plan:


The second page of the introduction to the atlas:


The covers of the atlas:


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