Description of the Eclipse of the Moon
This page contains a diagram titled “Eclipse of the Moon.” It appeared in an 1836 raised-print book that adapted diagrams from a popular, ink-printed textbook on physics, astronomy, and other physical sciences. Two lines show the sun’s cone of light; dots mark the moon’s orbit; and parallel and perpendicular lines illustrate the earth's shadow obscuring the moon. Howe’s diagrams communicated information: here, how a lunar eclipse happens. They also made common visual representations tactilely legible for blind and low-vision readers in a form Howe hoped would be universally accessible. This diagram is printed one and a half times larger than its original.
Seeing and Feeling Tactile Pages
If you have been able to print the object, consider how it felt to touch the lunar eclipse. What did you notice after you saw or read about the page that you didn't notice at first?
In designing Boston Line Type and his embossed diagrams, Samuel Gridley Howe wrote that the best way to evaluate their success was by “consulting the blind themselves.” But he also conceded that, “if seeing people insist upon settling it,” they should do it “in the dark, and by aid of their fingers.”
If you are able to print or touch these pages, compare how they feel to you with how the blind and low-vision readers from the nineteenth century describe using raised-print books.