periment station the first recorded effort in fabric-weaving and artis-
tic rug-making by the blind in this country was undertaken. It was
also here that a beginning was made in the manufacture of the so-
called "Wundermop" a string mop invented by a blind man. It was
also as a result of the efforts of the director of this experiment station
that the attempl was made to place blind people in factories other
than those in which Inning is carried on. The Dennison Manufactur-
ing Company was the first to open ils doors to employees of this kind.
When the State Commission was created the industries which had
been begun in this experiment station were taken over as the nucleus
of the workshops which have since been carried on by the state board.
After the Commission for the Blind was created the Association con-
tinued to exist and it still cooperates with the Commission very closely .
and is of great service to it. For example, it started and maintained
work for the prevention of blindness, until the Commission took this
effort over; also, when Mrs. James A. Woolson gave her property in
Cambridge to be nsed as a social and industrial center for blind
women, it was made over to the Massachusetts Association, which or-
ganization has made itself responsible for the maintenance of this
social settlement for the blind.
When the Outlook for ihi Blind, an ink-print publication devoted
to the interests of the blind, was founded in 1907, the .Massachusetts
Association generously made up tin 1 annual deficit for several years
until the magazine had won for itself sufficient recognition to com-
mand the financial assistance of contributors in other parts of the
country. ..While the Massachusetts Association cannot point to any
extensive equipment of its own. it is unquestionably a fact that much
of the modern effort to render practical assistance to the adult blind
in this country has had its inspiration from the modest, but effective
work inaugurated by this Association in Massachusetts, the most
direct outcome of which was the creation of the first permanent Com-
mission for the Blind in America. Secretary; E. E. Allen, Perkins
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND 45
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind:, Central Office and Sales
Room, 3 Park St., Boston. The Commission was established in 1906,
and as indicated above, took over, as a basis of this industrial work,
the shops which had been begun by the Massachusetts Association.
One of the first pieces of work undertaken by the Commission was
to make a complete register of all the blind in the state. This had been
partly accomplished by the temporary commission appointed in 1903
to investigate the needs and conditions of the blind. As there was no
precedent for this commission to follow in inaugurating its work it was
essential that it should have a comprehensive record of the large num-
ber of blind in the state. We mention this census of the Massachusetts
Commission for it is an unfortunate fad that other subsequent com-
missions have blindly copied this feature of the Massachusetts Com-
mission as if no work could be done without it. and we wish to take this
opportunity to suggest that other states that may be contemplating
work for the adult blind do not need to spend their efforts in trying
to create a so-called census of the blind. To be accurate a census must
betaken throughout a gives territory in the shortest possible time, and
since Massachusetts has this very complete record of its blind popula-
tion, those who wish to secure tacts about age, when blindness occurred,
etc., ran find this in format ion by referring to the first reports of the
Massachusetts Commission, and it is reasonable to presume that the
same general facts will hold good in other slates. A compilation of a
register is quite different from the taking of a census, and every well
organized charity begins a register the day it opens its doors.
One of the most interesting features of the .Massachusetts Commis-
sion is the chain of workshops which it has opened in Cambridge
(where there are three), Pittsfield, Lowell. Worcester and Fall River.
In the four last-named cities mattress-making and chair-caning are the
principal industries, and there is some broom-making carried on in
Pittsfield. To each of these shops the men come from the surrounding
locality, living in their own homes, or boarding in the vicinity. The
I Jommission maintains no subsidized boarding house.
In Cambridge the largest of the three shops (at 686 Massachusetts
Avenue) is given up exclusively to rug-making and mop-making, which
are primarily carried on by men. although a few women are employed
for knotting and finishing the rugs.
The second shop (at 131 Brookline street), is also for men, who make
brooms, and re-seat chairs and (more recently) carry on a willow
The third shop, located at 277 Harvard street, stands in the garden
of the "Woolson House Estate, and is for women only. In this building
4* INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND
the women devote themselves to art fabric-weaving, rug-making, and
chair-caning. As was mentioned under the Massachusetts Associa-
tion, the property a1 277 Harvard street is held by the Massachusetts
Association, the old Woolson home now serving as a delightful residence
for homeless blind women who are employed in the industries. It is
also used as a vacation house in the summer for those who need the
benefit of a change, and as a visiting place for newly blind women. The
Massachusetts Commission is entirely responsible for carrying on the
art fabric shop, but of course it pays no rent for the use of the build-
ing. Instruction in whichever trade seems to be most suitable is given
to able-bodied, blind residents of Massachusetts, provided there is
room in one of the various shops at the time application is made. At
its discretion, the Commission may loan tools and materials (which
are to be returned or paid for on easy terms) to blind home workers.
The mops, rugs and brooms are disposed of through the sales room.
which is maintained by the Commission at 3 Park street and, during
the summer season, at a sales room at Manchester-by-the-Sea.
The general purposes of the Commission are completely outlined in
the Introduction to this section. General Superintendent, Miss Lucy
Defectivi Eyesight class in Public Schools. In April, 1913, a class
for children having defective eyesight was opened in one of the Boston
public schools. For details of the methods pursued in such a class,
see the Introduction to this section. The superintendent of schools
makes this significant comment in his annual report for 1913: "The
progress made by the children to whom school had meant almost
nothing has been remarkable, showing that the effort is well worth
while if the children can lie reached."
Boston Nursery for Blind Babies, 147 South Huntington Ave., Rox-
bury. Incorporated, 1901. Capacity, 25. Valuation of plant, $36.-
400. Supported by an endowment and voluntary contributions. Any
blind or partially blind child under five years of age is eligible for
admission. The state pays a per capita sum for state minor wards.
AVhen able to pay, the parents or guardians are expected to defray
as much of the expense as possible, although admission may be free
when circumstances warrant it. The purpose of the nursery is to pro-
vide a home and hospital care for infants; also to supply by training
the education that the physically normal child acquires by imitation.
The Nursery also admits a limited number of children requiring spe-
cial care to prevent blindness. The home and hospital are open all
the year. It is interesting to note that this is the first nursery for
blind babies which erected a special building for its wards. It is a
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND 49
model of its kind. Any one observing this beautiful structure facing
a portion of Boston's park system, would never think of it as an "in-
stitution" but rather as a private residence of some wealthy family.
Indeed, those in charge of the Nursery have done everything in their
power to approximate home conditions for these little people. Super-
intendent; Miss Jane A. Kussell.
Worcester Memorial Home for the Blind, 81 Elm St., Worcester.
Founded, 1905. Capacity, 14. Valuation of plant, $9,500. Sup-
ported by private contributions and board of residents. It is open to
blind women so far as space allows, without restriction, to residents.
An admission fee or regular payments for board, according to circum-
stances, is charged. It is the hope of the organization to provide other
cottages for the homeless blind. The women do what they can towards
the upkeep of the house, and are happily and busily occupied with
fancy work, which is sold by means of occasional sales. Matron, Miss
Libraries for the Blind. Boston, Public library, 548 titles, 1052
volumes. The circulation of books is not restricted to any particular
Brookline, Public Library. 75 titles, 109 volumes. Books are cir-
culated in Brookline.
Lynn, Public Library, 205 titles, 255 volumes. No territory limit
to circulation; blind assistant teaches all the various types for the
blind. A reading room for the blind is open three days of each week.
N( w Bedford, Free Public Library, 137 titles, 214 volumes. No ter-
ritory limit to the circulation.
Watertawn, Perkins Institution, 1878 titles, 13,999 volumes.
Printed catalogs are distributed free wherever needed. Books are cir-
culated throughout United States and Canada.
Worcester, Free Public Library, 164 titles, 292 volumes. The books
are circulated through central Massachusetts.
School for the Blind, Lansing. The Michigan School for the Blind
was organized as a department of the State Institution for the Deaf
and Blind and maintained at Flint, from 1854-1881. A separate
school was authorized by the legislature in 1879 and opened in Lans-
ing in 1881. Capacity, 200. Valuation of plant, $249,843.29.
Annual state appropriation, $57,000. School owns 43 acres of land,
one of which is available for athletics. For requirements for admis-
sion, course, term, and purpose of institution, see Introduction to this
section. Superintendent, Clarence E. Holmes.
IPI 1 \ %&&
1 jB *
Photo from tlie School for the Blind, Philadelphia. Pa.
Physical training is fundamental in the education of the blind.
52 INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND
Co-education of the Blind and the Seeing in the Public ScJwols of
Detroit. A class for blind children was opened in Detroit in January,
1912. At the present time there is only one center, with 25 children.
This includes, however, two distinct classes: one for those who are
blind, and the other for those who have partial sight, with 13 children
in attendance. For the details of the education of the blind and the
partially blind, in the public schools, see Introduction to this section.
Teacher in charge, Fannie S. Fletcher.
State Aid for Blind Babies. The State Board of Education is au-
thorized to make provision for the care, maintenance and instruction
of blind babies and children under school age, residing in Michigan,
when the parents are unable to properly care for them. The Board
may contract with any institution having facilities for such care,
maintenance and education (in Michigan or any other state) at a con-
tract price to be agreed upon not exceeding $5 per week per child.
Bill passed May, 1913.
Employment Institution for the Blind, Saginaw. Established, 1903;
opened November, 1904. Capacity, 100. The original plant cost
$75,000; additional buildings to the amount of $10,000 have been
recently erected. The principal industries of the men are broom-
and whisk-making, and for the women, rug-weaving and chair-caning.
Instruction is also given to a few in piano-tuning, typewriting, vocal
and instrumental music, and all who wish are taught to read and
write the embossed systems. Temporary instruction in vocational
training, with maintenance, is free to adults of the state, and perma-
nent opportunities of wage earning employment (with maintenance
at cost, if desired) is provided for proficient industrial workers be-
tween the ages of 18 and 60 years.
The buildings of this institution are attractively grouped upon a
lot of seven acres opposite to which is a twenty acre city park. This
abundance of recreational facilities and academic training is mentioned
because it is so exceptional among the industrial institutions.
This institution came into being entirely as a result of the efforts
of the blind in Michigan, and largely because of the personal efforts
and devotion of Mr. Ambrose M. Shotwell, who is today the Librarian
and Assistant Superintendent of the Institution. Superintendent.
Frank G. Putnam.
Croud h'<ij>ids Association for the Blind. This organization was
established in 1913. Its purpose is to promote the interests of the
blind in the city of Grand Rapids. It was this organization which
secured the passage of a state law requiring better attention to the
eyes of infants. Secretary. Miss Roberta A. Griffith, 800 Clancy Ave..
N. E., Grand Rapids. Mich.
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND 53
Michigan Blind People's Welfare Association. This organization
was started in 1900, and convenes biennially. Both officially, and
through its individual members, it did much toward the establishment
of the Michigan Employment Institution for the Blind. It was this
organization that secured the passage in 1913 of a state law requiring
better attention to the eyes of infants. It has also fostered a cam-
paign in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Association for the
prevention of blindness. Its constitution states that the object of
the association is "to promote in every feasible way, industrial, social,
educational, and general welfare of the blind in Michigan." Presi-
dent, Roberta A. Griffith, Grand Rapids; Secretary, Clara M. AVill-
Home for Blind Babies, Monroe. Organized, 1911. Supported by
voluntary contributions and fees paid by the state for the care of
blind babies. Provides for six children. Matron, Mrs. Margaret
Libraries for the Blind. Detroit, Public Library, 222 volumes, 212
titles. Books are circulated in Detroit and environs.
Lansing, School for the Blind, 3734 volumes, 960 titles.
Saginaw, Michigan Free Lending Library for the Blind, 2500
volumes, 2100 titles. Books are circulated throughout the state.
Srhool for tin Blind, Faribault. Founded, 1864. Capacity, 100.
Valuation of plant, $150,000. Annual state appropriation, $35,000.
For requirements for admission, course, term, and purpose of instruc-
tion, see Introduction to this section. In addition to the usual trades
special attention is paid to band weaving. This school has evolved
special looms of its own. and has worked out many of the old South-
ern blue and white designs. The school owns about 50 acres of land,
10 of which are used for athletics. Superintendent, J. J. Dow.
Summer School for Blind Adults. Faribault. Founded, 1907.
Capacity, 15. Through the instrumentality of Superintendent J. J.
Dow, the legislature made an appropriation sufficient to try the ex-
periment of using the state school for the blind during ten weeks of
the summertime to give instruction to a limited number of blind
men. A similar term of four weeks is offered to blind women. This
is the first institution for the blind in the United States to utilize
its plant in this way. Instruction is given in broom-making, rug-
and carpet- weaving,' hammock-, flynet- and basket-making, cabinet
work and the use of carpenters' tools. Pupils are also taught to read
and write, when possible to use the typewriter. The advocates of the
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56 INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND
summer school plan make no exaggerated claims for the undertak-
ing, hut tVcl that this arrangement has served to give courage to many
of those who have attended to try and make a better use of their
faculties. Full information relative to requirements for admission
can be secured upon application to Superintendent J. J. Dow.
Fit Id mid Employmt nt Agt ncy for the Blind, Faribault. ' Founded,
1913. This activity in behalf of the adult blind in Minnesota has
within it the possibility of doing everything that has been contemplated
by state commissions for the blind, and we refer the reader to "com-
missions for the blind" in the Introduction of this section. In addi-
tion to the usual activities of commissions the Agency maintains a
branch tuning department for the free training of blind piano-tuners
in the midway district of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This effort on
behalf of the adult blind of Minnesota is carried on under the direc-
tion of the State School for Blind Youth. The expenses are met from
the support fund of the state school. Director, J. J. Dow.
Higher Education Aid. Aid to the amount of $300 a year is given
to a limited number of blind students in universities, colleges and con-
servatories of music at the discretion and under the direction of the
Board of Directors of the Minnesota School for the Blind.
State Aid for Blind Infants. The State Board of Control is au-
thorized to make provision for the care, medical treatment, main-
tenance and education of indigent blind infants and young children
under school age. These children, however, are to be cared for within
Minneapolis Society for th< Blind. Franklin Building, Minneapolis.
Organized 1914. Executive Secretary, Miss Edith Marsh.
Library for the Blind. Faribault, School for the Blind, 4,000 vol-
umes; 566 titles. Books may lie circulated* throughout the state.
School for the Blind, Jackson. Founded, 1846. Capacity, 85.
Valuation of plant, $75,000. Annual state appropriation, $61,000 for
1914 and 1915. The school owns 10 acres. of land. For requirements
for admission, course, term, and purpose of instruction, see the Intro-
duction to this section. Superintendent, R. S. Curry, M. D.
Library for the Blind. Jackson, School for the Blind, about 1500
volumes, 980 titles.
School for the Blind, St. Louis. Founded, 1851. Capacity, 135.
Valuation of plant, $412,000. Annual state appropriation, $50,000.
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND 57
The school owns five acres of land, two of which are available for
athletics. For requirements for admission, course, term, and purpose
of instruction, see the Introduction to this section. Superintendent,
S. M. Green.
State Aid for College Students. In 1913 a law was passed whereby
a blind student, admitted to higher institutions of learning in the
state, might be assisted to the extent of $300 a year, to employ persons
to read text-books and pamphlets used by such pupil in his studies
at the College, University or School. The beneficiary under this act
is required to produce evidence that neither he, his parents nor his
guardian, is able to pay the expense of providing a reader.
Association for the Blind, 703 .Metropolitan Bldg., St. Louis.
Founded, 1911. Is supported by voluntary contributions. A broom-
shop employing 15 men is maintained. Some basket-making is also
done. The general purposes of the association are similar to those
outlined in the Introduction to this section. The association was
largely- responsible for the law creating the Commission for the Blind.
Executive Secretary, Mrs. Annie F. Harris.
Commission for the Blind. Established, 1915. The law creating
the commission is very similar to that creating the commissions in other
states and has already been outlined in the Introduction of this sec-
tion. The first appropriation was $12,500, but coupled with the con-
dition that a like amount be raised from private subscriptions. Presi-
dent, -I. I). Perry Francis, St. Louis.
Home for Blind Girls, 5235 Page Boulevard, St. Louis. Founded,
1867. Capacity, 40. Valuation of plant, $80,000. Supported by con-
tributions and proceeds from a small endowment fund. Open to
Missouri women without homes who are unable to support themselves.
The inmates aid with the housework, and sew and knit. The building
is modern and excellently eq nipped. Resident officer, Mrs. P. S.
UniU d Workers for the Blind, 2616 Gamble St., St. Louis. Founded,
1913. One purpose of this organization is to provide sick and funeral
benefits for the blind of Missouri, although the chief purpose of the
society is to secure "pensions for the blind." To further this cam-
paign it issues a monthly paper in ink-print and American Braille,
known as "The World of the Blind." The membership of this society
is limited to blind persons or relatives of the blind. President, Jos.
Unterberger, 6033 Westminster St., St. Louis.
Libraries for the Blind. St. Louis, Public Library, 489 volumes;
44 titles. Books may be circulated throughout Missouri and the
60 INSTITUTIONS FOR THE BLIND
adjoining states. In 1912 an embossed catalog was published. Addi-
tions are noted monthly in ink-print bulletin.
St. J. (juts. School for the Blind, 4760 volumes; 569 titles. Books
may be circulated throughout the state.
School for tin Deaf and Wind, Boulder. Founded, 1894. Capac-
ity. 25 (blind). This Institution not only has charge of the deaf
and blind, but the institution for feeble-minded is under the same
management. Valuation of plant, $330,771.05. Annual state appro-
priation, $83,750. The school owns 490 acres of land, 10 of which
are available for athletics. There is a gymnasium. For requirements
for admission, course, term, and purpose of instruction, see Intro-
duction to this section. Superintendent, II. J. Menzemer.
Library for the Blind. Boulder, School for the Blind, 189 volumes,
56 titles. Books may be circulated throughout the state.
School for tJic Blind, Nebraska City. Established, 1875. Capac-
ity, 100. Valuation of plant, $200,000. Annual state appropriation,
$25,000. The school owns ten acres of land, five of which are used for
athletics. There is a gymnasium. For requirements for admission,
course, term, and purpose of instruction, see Introduction to this
section. Superintendent, N. C. Abbott.
Nebraska Commission for the Blind. Founded, 1913. Appropria-
tion. $2,000 for biennium. The Commission employs a Held agent.
The activities of this Commission are similar to those outlined in the
I til reduction to this section. Executive officer, N. C. Abbott.
Library for the Wind. Nebraska City, School for the Blind, 4000
volumes; 1700 titles. Books may be circulated throughout the state.
State Ilonn Teaching. In September, 1913, a law was passed ap-
propriating $5,000 for the assistance of the adult blind. The purpose
of the law is very similar to that creating commissions for the blind
in other stales, the only difference being that instead of placing the
work under a separate board of management, it was put under the
supervision of the State Board of Charities and Correction. Further-
more, instead of opening an industrial institution for the small num-
ber of New Hampshire blind, who might benefit by the same, those
who need trade training, which cannot be given in the home, are sent