William Moon

Photo:Kensington Place

Kensington Place

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

He devoted his life to the blind

By Peter Crowhurst, North Laine resident

A Brighton man with a world reputation

No 44 Kensington Place was once the home of William Moon, a Brighton citizen with a world reputation but today sadly little known. The 1851 census reports that William, together with his wife Mary (Caudle) and two children (Robert and Adelaide), lived at No 44 Kensington Place and that William was Master of the Blind School. Kelly's Trade Directory for 1846 records that the Blind School was located in Church Street, although by 1865 it had moved to the premises more associated with William Moon, 104 Queen's Road, which was to be his office and home address for many years and in fact continued as a printing works until 1960.

The development of Moon

William Moon was born in Horsmonden, Kent, though by 1839 he was living in Brighton and teaching local blind pupils. He must have found the existing systems difficult to use because he was soon developing his own system, Moon, which was easier to learn. In 1847 he had produced his first booklet in Moon and it was not long before Moon was being used throughout the country and in time throughout the world.

To develop his system, William Moon was to travel extensively around the world setting up printing presses and libraries to encourage the blind to read. By the time he died in 1894 his books had been translated into 471 languages and Moon had been established as the national teaching standard in many different countries.

This page was added on 11/03/2008.

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