Laura Bridgman (1829-1889)

Laura Dewey Bridgman was a role model for - and friend of - Helen Keller, as she was the first deaf-blind person to successfully learn language and receive a formal education. Bridgman lost her sight and hearing at age two, when she was stricken with scarlet fever. Bridgman learned to sew and knit as a child. In 1827 Samuel Howe of the Perkins Institution for the Blind began to try, in the face of general cynicism, to educate her through her sense of touch. Bridgman eventually studied advanced subjects such as arithmetic and geography. Charles Dickens made her famous when, after meeting her in 1842, he described her in his "American Notes." Unable to live outside of an institution, Bridgman remained at the school where she helped teach other pupils. She was known as "the pride of the deaf." In this portrait by Warren, of Boston, Bridgman holds her needlework.

1870 circa 5 years
Original Format:
Carte de Visite
William S. Warren (Boston)
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