William Moon

William Moon ( born December 18, 1818 in Horsmonden, † October 9, 1894 in Brighton ) was the developer of the Moon alphabet, a competing with Braille Braille, which is based on the letters of the black font.

Life and work

Moon was a healthy, sighted child until he fell ill with scarlet fever. This meant that he completely blind in one eye and the second eye had a greatly impaired vision, which continued to deteriorate over time. At the age of 21 years, Moon went blind completely and moved with his widowed mother and his sister to Brighton in East Sussex.

Invention of the Moon alphabet

Moon taught local blind boy reading chiseled fonts, which were developed by different people ( Alston, Frere, Gall and Lucas). He noticed that the boy was hard to learn these writings. In 1843 he began to develop his own relief alphabet, which he published in 1845 - the Moon alphabet. The boys learned this method to read faster.

1842 Moon married Mary Ann Caudle, daughter of a surgeon. 1844 their son Robert was born and a year later their daughter Adelaide. Although the family lived in poverty, Moon was able to purchase a wooden printing press, with which he could print and reproduce his writings.

Since Moon was very Christian upbringing, it was to assign him a concern, the Bible in Moon script. It took almost ten years to put this plan into action. In his project was financially supported William Moon by Sir Charles Lowther, had to suffer the same fate as Moon - he also went blind after scarlet fever. Sir Charles Lowther was a good friend of Moon. He could set up with the help Lowthers next to his house a printing company, and a library and then publish his writings. During his lifetime there books were printed in 471 different languages ​​- he supplied were, almost the whole world with his writings.

Exposure to reactive pedagogy

William Moon had very advanced views of blind education. Groups of interested people a dedicated trained by him blind teacher, who taught them the Moon writing and provided them with books, among other things, with the aim that blind children could attend general educational courses. Moon but was also active for his unseeing contemporaries through various social projects and was therefore called " the pastor of the blind ".


The University of Philadelphia awarded him in 1871 the honorary doctorate of jurisprudence.