Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Art of Money (Braille on Quarter)

The US Mint began its State Quarters Program in 1999, issuing commemorative coins in the order in which each state entered the Union. The state quarter of Alabama (released March 2003) depicts Helen Keller, and above her name is the equivalent "translation" in Braille dots. I wonder if a blind person is able to read this inscription at this size?

I think it's interesting that Helen Keller is depicted in the act of reading itself. She runs fingers over a book in her lap, presumably one with Braille dots or raised letters.

By the way, this quarter -- like all quarters -- contains some Latin: the unofficial motto of the United States, E pluribus unum ("out of many, one.")

(For more on the use of the motto E pluribus unum, see here and here. For more on Helen Keller, see my earlier posting about her statue in the Capitol Visitor Center; see also here and here.)

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