Item 2008. - Printed Matter: Ephemera - National Institute for the Blind Leaflet

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Printed Matter: Ephemera - National Institute for the Blind Leaflet

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  • ca. 1914 (Creation)

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Biographical history

Samuel Benfield Steele was born at Purbrook, Medonte, County Simcoe, Ontario on 5 January 1848 to Captain Elmes Steele and Anne MacIan Macdonald. His father served under Nelson and other Admirals in the Napoleonic Wars, moving to Canada in 1832, with his first wife and family. After the death of his first wife, Captain Steele married Sam's mother, and they had six childre, Sam being the eldest.

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This leaflet, originally inserted in a First World War military book, asks the question: “Which book will you buy for the blind man?” and features a color illustration of a blind man being handed a braille book. On verso, there is a printed appeal from C. Arthur Pearson, Honorary Treasurer of the newly established National Institute for the Blind, asking for donations to fund the purchase of equipment to bring down the cost of printing braille books. On the bottom of the page is a place to write your name, address, and amount pledged for the Institute. C. Arthur Pearson was a noted publisher, writer and newspaper man, but began to lose his sight due to glaucoma in 1908. He published his Pearson’s Easy Dictionary in braille in 1912, and became President of the National Institute for the Blind in 1914. He was a successful fundraiser for the Institute as these leaflets might attest to, increasing the income from £8,000 to £360,000 in only eight years. Pearson went on to establish the St. Dunstan’s Home for soldiers blinded in the First World War, where men were offered vocational training in an effort to help them regain their independence and return to the workforce.

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  • English

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  • Text Box: 150
  • Folder: 5