The Perkins Institute for the Blind.
John Kitto writes about deafness in The Lost Senses.
Symon's sonnet describes an encounter with a blind man.
Wordsworth encounters a blind man on the streets in The Prelude.
An ear trumpet swathed in fashionable Victorian mourning.
Edison's phonograph led to talking books for the blind.
Tupper's poem explores the auditory rhythms of the stammerer's speech.
Losing consciousness and sensory experience under chloroform.
Wilkie Collins's novel, Hide and Seek, features a deaf herione.
Disability is not only a different way of being in the world, it is also a different way of knowing the world. The Victorians were fascinated by the idea of the epistemological difference engendered by disability. This is the era in which a young deaf and blind girl called Laura Bridgman became a celebrity in Boston and beyond in the 1840s, in which John Kitto and Harriet Martineau documented their experiences as deaf people. The artifacts in this section provide a window into how sensory experience--hearing, seeing, touch, smell and taste--informed the experience of daily life in the nineteenth century.