Friday, 30 January 2009


Mr. Jan Pieter from Netherlands sent me the souvenir sheet issued by TNT Post (Dutch Post) to celebrate the bicentenary of Louis Braille. Twelve stamps (each one face value 44 cents) presenting the braille alphabeth. Each Braille character or cell is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixty-four permutations, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised. This sheet is a tribute to a man who revolutionized written communication for the blind.


My friends Ken and Gunilla, collectors of blind stamps, sent me a rich material from France: cover, mint stamp and FDC celebrating the bicentenary of birth of Louis Braille. The FDC shows us the stone house in which Louis Braille was born. Situated in Coupvray (at number13, Louis Braille street) the house is now a museum in honor of his life and work. A marble plaque is attached to the outside of the house. The words on the plaque, written in French on the left and English on the right, speak of Louis’ raised dot alphabet that make it possible for people who are blind to read and write: "In this house on January 4, 1809 was born Louis BRAILLE, the inventor of the system ofwriting in raised dots for use by the blind. He opened the doors of knowledge to all those who cannot see".

Monday, 26 January 2009


Brazilian Post Office issued its stamp celebrating the bicentenary of Louis Braille on January 4th,2009. Here the sheetlet of twenty four R$ 2,20 stamps. The stamp brings the name "Louis Braille" embossed in braille on its surface. Brazil traditionally issue stamps on the blind thematic. The first Braille stamp (with letters embossed in Braille) was issued here in Brazil in 1974 to commemorate the 5th World Council for the Welfare of the Blind in Sao Paulo.

Sunday, 25 January 2009


My friend Gustavo from Brisbane, Australia sent me this postage paid envelope titled "Vision Australia - 200 years of Louis Braille". This new postage paid envelope features colours that vision impaired people find easier to read. Another feature in the design is the use of the Braille print which has allowed those with a vision impairment to read.
On the back of the envelope the phrase "Vision Australia honours Louis Braille, who provided the key to literacy for people who are blind" is embossed in braille too.


Macao Post issued on January 4th, 2009 this nice stamp with face value 5.00 patacas. It brings the name of Louis Braille embossed in braille alphabet and its postmark. Thank you very much Mr. Leung for the covers and mint stamps.


It is 200 years since the birth of Louis Braille. For me who collect "Blind on stamps" it is time to celebrate many commemorative issues worldwide throughout 2009. The first stamps issued in January have just arrived.
Louis Braille was the inventor of braille, a world-wide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing. He was born in Coupvray, France, on January 4, 1809. Braille is read by passing the fingers over characters made up of an arrangement of one to six embossed points. It has been adapted to almost every known language.
Louis Braille became blind at the age of 3, when he accidentally stabbed himself in one eye with an auger, one of his father's workshop tools and got an infection, the other eye went blind from the infection spreading to it. At the age of 10, Braille earned a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, one of the first of its kind in the world. Braille, a bright and creative student, became a talented cellist and organist in his time at the school, playing the organ for churches all over France.
In 1821, Charles Barbier, a Captain in the French Army, visited the school to show the children his invention, called "Night writing." This was a code of 12 raised dots and a number of dashes that let soldiers share top-secret information on the battlefield without having to speak. The code was too difficult for Louis to understand, and he later changed the number of raised dots to 6 to form what we today call Braille. The same year Louis began inventing his raised-dot system with his father's ice fishing auger, finishing at age 15, in 1824. His system used only six dots and corresponded to letters. The six-dot system allowed the recognition of letters with a single fingertip apprehending all the dots at once, requiring no movement or repositioning which slowed recognition in systems requiring more dots. These dots consisted of patterns in order to keep the system easy to learn and being possible to both read and write an alphabet.
Braille later extended his system to include notation for mathematics and music. The first book in braille was published in 1829 under the title Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them. Braille became a well-respected teacher at the Institute. Although he was admired and respected by his pupils, his braille system was not taught at the Institute during his lifetime. Louis Braille died in Paris of tuberculosis on January 6, 1852 at the age of 43; his body was disinterred in 1952 (the centenary of his death) and honored with re-interment in the Panthéon in Paris. His system was finally, officially recognized in France two years after his death, in 1854.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Hirtshals is a town in region Nordjylland on the north coast of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. The town of Hirtshals has a population of 7,000. Located on the North Sea, it is especially known for its fishing and ferry harbours. Fishing plays a big role for the town, as does tourism and the renting of summer homes.
The town's 35 meter high lighthouse, Hirtshals fyr is a local landmark. The boats that came from the south had nothing on which to take a bearing, which resulted in many ships running aground near Hirtshals. The lighthouse was therefore built on the point between 1860-1863.Building was begun June 28, 1860, and it was first lit on January 1, 1863. It is constructed of red brick, and covered with Dutch tile.
Hirtshals is Danish hometown for the Norwegian ferry company, Color Line. Each year thousands of Norwegian, German and Dutch tourists travel back and forth from Hirtshals to Norwegian cities Kristiansand and Larvik.