Throwback Thursday: Photograph of Helen Keller


In honor of Helen Adams Keller, noted author, activist, and fundraiser, born on June 27th, 1880, our object this week is a photograph of Keller from April 13, 1931.  Helen Keller is seated in the foreground in front of a Visagraph console, her hands exploring a metal foil readout on the right side of the machine.  The Visagraph was a very early scanner-based reading machine, which could somewhat imperfectly reproduce print in raised letters.  Standing left to right behind the machine are leaders from all over the world, Dr. Carl Strehl (halfway out of the picture), Pierre Villey (beard and dark glasses), Robert Naumburg, A.K. Shah, A. Lundberg, Ryntaro Kimura, Ian Fraser, and Robert Irwin; the men wear convention ribbons as they are all attending the American Association of Workers for the Blind Convention at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.

(Caption:  Black and white photograph of Helen Keller seated in front of a machine, with others looking on.)

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