Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Throwback Thursday: A Candelabra Club Original

This month celebrates—I guess—our sixth year of writing this blog about the interesting things we hold in our museum collection here at APH.   I don’t know that I thought it would last this long, but our object this week is a hoot.  Back in the 1950s, one of the biggest celebrities anywhere was pianist and showman Liberace.  And he had at least one huge fan at APH, a lady named Elizabeth Judd who had been working here since before World War One!  Elizabeth was a member of a local Liberace fan club—do those still exist? —called the Candelabra Club.  She worked in braille production, and in 1954 she used the tactile graphics machinery there to make a very clever embossing plate featuring Liberace’s piano with his signature candelabra sitting on it and his poodle Suzette nearby.  Everything is captioned in braille.  Several proofs, like our object, were taken from the plate, but the original was given to Liberace—he loved it! —at his concert that week in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. 
 A smiling Liberace in a white tuxedo
sitting at a piano.
 Tactile graphic featuring a grand piano, candelabra,
and sitting dog

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