Printing for the blind
US 1726803 A
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P 1929. E. E. BRAMLETTE 1,726,803
PRINTING FOR THE BLIND Filed July 14, 1927 Patented Sept. 3, 1929.
UNITED STATES EDGAR E. BRAMLETTE, OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.
PRINTING FOR THE BLIND.
Application filed July 14, 1927. Serial No. 205,566.
This invention relates to what is ordinarily called printing for the blind. Its object is to simplify, cheapen, and render more expeditious and satisfactory the embossing of raised characters on both sides of a sheet usually of paper.
The present improvements have a particular and specific relation to what is known as the Braille system of point writing for the blind. That system employs a cell of six points arranged in three laterally-directed pairs, one above another, in such manner that there are two lines of three points each positioned side by side in the up-and-down directions. In the drawings herewith the middle pair of points is omitted, but the shape of the cell is shown since the four points illustrated are at the respective corners of the cell. These four points constitute the letter X of the Braille alphabet.
The chief object of the invention is to sim plify production and lessen the cost of sheets printed for the blind especially in the Braille system. This is accomplished by the use of a single metallic plate so formed and used as to emboss both sides of the paper sheet at one operation, in a rotary press, and, as a preferred feature, with some of the points on both sides of the paper sheet within the confines of oppositely-disposed cells. In other words, a line of writing on one side of the sheet preferably overlaps in part a line of writing on the opposite side of the sheet. Stated otherwise, again, points of one line are among point-s of the opposite line. This is called interpoint printing or interpointing in the art.
The only system of which I am aware in which interpointing is feasible is the Braille system. Such interpointing has been accomplished heretofore by means of two metallic plates face to face and secured to each other (usually integrally) along one edge. These two plates are embossed as one,first on one outer side of the unit and then on the other. The same method is used for interlining, where the lines on opposite sides do not overlap but are free of each other. l/Vhen the two plates are thus prepared the plate unit is put into a platen press and the printing operation consists of inserting sheets, one at a time, between the two plates of the unit and applying pressure. Sometimes, also, these two plates have been separated and secured to opposite printing roiierei was the paper passing between'them. This involves such difiiculty 1n adpustment as to be exceedingly bothersome and unsatisfactory.
The method just described wherein two plates are secured together is slow, laborious, expensive, and far from satisfactory in many ways; for example, the two flexible plates soon get out of proper justification with respect to each other and the writing on one side or the other or both becomes bad. The metal stretches unequally and the connection between the two plates breaks.
Prior to my present improvements the method just described has been the only one found practicable for raised character printing on both sides of a paper sheet at one operation, and the only method by which interpointing could be accomplished, and the latter only in the Braille system.
The patent to Huntoon and McCann No. 920,872, of May 4, 1909, purports to show a method of printing on both sides of a paper sheet by means of a single embossed plate and by a single printing operation. It discloses in part or in some respects a principle underlying my present invention. That patent shows writing in what is known as New York Point, the cell proper having four points arranged as a square, but the writing involves lateral extensions up to seven or eight additional points, so that a single character may occupy a very considerable space in the lateral directions. As a consequence New York Point is invariably written with the fundamental cell relatively small, and the points very close together. This is practically necessary in order that the reader may sense the character as a unit when he puts his finger tip upon it. Interpointing is not possible in the New York Point system as it is and always has been practically produced.
In the accompanying drawings, whichform a part of this specification, Figure 1 is an end view of a printing roller and an impression roller such as may be used in printing a single sheet of paper on both sides from what I shall call the die element or matrix sheet; Fig. 2 is a fragmentary face view of a piece of thin sheet metal such as grass, as is ordinarily employed in the art, containing the single letter X of the Braille alphabet for the blind readable from both sides of the late; Figs, t; and 4 are sectional views en the "Li and 4 4 respectively of Fig. l;
through two of the conical formations in the matrix and with the paper pressed into conformation therewith; and Fig. 6 is a greatly enlarged view showing the matrix and associated elements used in the printing operation.
In carrying out the present invention a thin sheet of brass, say from ten to twelve thousandths of an inch in thickness, is first positioned in an embossing machine .having keys for manipulation after the order of a typewriter or linotype machine and by means of which the operator writes upon the plain brass sheet the words which are to appear on the paper sheet, the different characters being formed by embossing points selected by the key manipulation. So far as the present invention is concerned the die or matrix embossing operation may be considered old and well known. The same sheet is then turned over and operated upon again, from the reverse side. These reverse-side indentations will preferably be on a somewhat arger scale, and to this end the sheet may be embossed the second time in a machine of the same type and character as before but so constructed as to provide the larger impressions; or, as in my practice, and which forms the subject matter of an independent invention, the impression points and the female die members associated with them respec tively may be so adjusted with respect to each other for the second operation as to provide larger indentations.
Referring to Figs. 2, 8 and 4, the four pro jections a are so grouped as to constitute a single letter of the Braille system blind alphabet extending outward on one side of the sheet, while the four projections b constitute the same letter and extend outward on the other side thereof. The four projections a were produced by one operation of the matrix-embossing machine and the four projections F) were produced by the second operation mentioned. The projections b are staggered *ith respect to the projections a respectively, and are so arranged with respect to the open and clear places between adjacent ones of the projections a that no matter what the writing the second time may be the im pressions will always find suitable space. These reverse-side impressions may occur sometimes within the body of a first-impression group or partly within and partly without the body thereof, and by having both groups so closely associated a notable saving of space may be effected. It may be mentioned that the embossing machine may produce as a single letter as many of the projections up to six within the compass of the four points a or b, and that the various letters of the alphabet are producedby embossing one or more of the little conical formations in different relative locations with respect to each other.
Fig. 5 shows in the matrix sheet 10 the relative sizes of the conical points or embossed projections a and Z). lVe will assume for present purposes that projection a in the matrix plate 10 is of the usual and ordinary proportions whereb T when the paper sheet ll is formed tightly about this projection a the conically shaped n'ojection 1.1" will be of the usual and ordinary size. In this view a sheet impressed with characters on one side only in accordance with such projections as ll would not be new.
So far as I am aware, however. it is novel to provide a matrix sheet as 10 having. in addition to projections as (Z on one side thereof, other and hollow projections as Z) on the opposite side thereof, and to provide in any form of matrix member for the purpose the recess 0, which is the functional feature of the projection 7), in suitable proportions and it is new print or emboss (otherwise than merely experimentally and unsatis'lactorily) both sides of the paper sheet as 11 at one time and by single embossed plate.
While the projections mentioned may be described as being conical they are more accurately cones truncated at the apex and rounded. Such rounding is to provide better wear surfaces for the paper points and to prevent breakage of the paper in the paperembossing operation. founded conical proj ections are not new in this art.
Reverting to Fig. 5 it will be observed that the projection b is higher and has a correspondingly wider base than projection 0.. It will be observed that the paper 11 here conforms to the inner surface 0 of the projection Z) to produce the projection 11" in the paper. It is desirable that the projections 11*- and, 11 shall have the same outside din'ieusions, and to that end the inner surface 0 made to conform to the outer shape and size of the projection 11 in the paper. The angle between opposed sides of these conical points is the same in both a, and Z). The thickness of the paper is therefore to be considered in gettin the dimensions of the recess 0. In the construction shown the height of the paper projection 11 as shown at w is the same as the height of the projection 11 as shown at and the diameter of the base of projection ll" as shown at m is the same as that of the base of projection 11 as shown at 12. hen the paper is removed from the matrix, having been formed thereagainst as shown by F ig. 5, the projections on the opposite sides of the paper will be individually the same.
Figs. 1 and 6 show how a single impression may emboss both sides of a sheet. On the printing roller 12' there is placed backing material which, in my practice, is a sheet of such soft material as blotting paper 13 which may be about one-eighth of an inch thick. I also use rubber sheeting for the backing 13. One end 9 of the matrix 10 is bent inward to be held by the clamp 14 and the bolt 15 while its other end may be left free. On the impression roller 16 is tightly secured a sheet of soft cushioning and impressing material 17. In my practice this sheet 17 is of rubber of good grade and quality and has imbedded therein several layers of fabric 18, thus forming a cushioning structure which is soft and shape-resuming as to the surface portions thereof at least and which as a whole strongly resists a tendency to stretch. It is pointed out that without some means for preventing such stretching and deformation the cushion 17 would tend to creep under the advancing pressure of the printing roller 12.
The cushioning sheet 17 may be from about an eighth to three-sixteenths of an inch thick. It is shown as being held by pins 19 at one end and by a roller, turned by a key and held by a ratchet-and-pawl device 20, at its other end.
The paper-embossing operation may now be described. Assuming that the paper sheet 11 is fed between the matrix 10 and the cushion 17 and the pressure of the embossing operation is brought to bear, the projection a of the matrix causes an indentation in the soft material 17 forcing the paper into tight-fitting association with the outside surface of pro jection a and producing the projection 11 of Fig. 5. With respect to the projection 12 (Fig. 6) the embossing pressure between the rolls causes the soft material of the cushion member 17 to ush forward into the hollow interior of pro ection b carrying with it the paper 11 and causing the paper to conform to the surfaces 0 defining that hollow interior and resulting in the projection 11 of Fig. 5.
By dotted lines in Fig. 6 I have shown what takes place. The projection a is a male member and the cushion 17 becomes for it a female element. On the other hand the walls of the recess 0 in the matrix plate form a female part and the cushion l7 opposite it becomes the male part through the printing or papersheet-embossing pressure. WVhile the Walls 0 are thus more technically a matrix, it is still true that the paper is moulded by both pro jections a and b, and I am therefore calling the forming plate as a whole a matrix plate, sheet or member. The paper sheet may be called the reading sheet, meaning the sheet to be read by the blind person.
I contemplate as being included in the present invention all such changes, departures and variations from what is thus specifically illustrated and described as fall Within the scope of the appended claims.
1. An embossing member of thin and flexible sheet metal for simultaneously producing raised characters for the blind on both sides of a thin and flexible reading sheet, said member having point character projections on one side thereof for embossing such characters on one side of the reading sheet and having therein point character depressions extending away from the plane of the member in a direction opposite to that of said first mentioned projections and respectively corresponding in depth, shape and proportions to the character points embossed on that side of the reading sheet embossed by said first-mentioned projections.
2. A thin metallic sheet for producing raised characters for the blind in the Braille system, the sheet having conical projections arranged as characters on both sides thereof, the projections on one side having conelike hollow interiors respectively substantially of the shape and size of the embossing to be produced by said projections on the other side of the sheet, some of said pro jections on both sides of the sheet being interpointed as herein described.
3. The combination of a thin and flexiblematrix sheet having point-system readingcharacter embossing projections extending from one side surface thereof and hollow projections extending from the opposite side surface of the matrix sheet and forming point-system reading-character embossing depressions extending in the opposite direction from the same surface of the matrix sheet as that having said first mentioned projections, a sheet of soft backing material upon the side of the matrix sheet opposite that of said first mentioned projections, a sheet of soft and resilient cushioning material facing the side of said sheet from which said depressions extend, said backing material and said cushioning material being on opposite sides of the matrix sheet, and means for applying embossing pressure upon all of said sheets so arranged when a sheet of paper to be embossed is between said cushioning material and the matrix sheet.
EDGAR E. BRAMLETTE.