CABINET CARD – STUDENTS OF KINDERGARTEN FOR THE BLIND

$175.00

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Item Code: 894-54

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Excellent condition image with 4 students, 3 girls and one boy, posed together. Front photographer’s imprint: “HASTINGS / 148 Tremont St. / Cor. West St. / BOSTON….MASS.”  In pencil on the reverse is the period inscription, “Kindergarten for the Blind / Jamaic [sic] Plains, Mass.; / Former property of Mrs. A.C. Balkan, / instructor at the above school.”

In 1885, six acres were purchased in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, at the corner of Perkins and Day Streets. Two years later, on May 2, 1887, the United States’ first kindergarten for the blind opened its doors to 17 pupils. A success from the beginning, the facilities were later expanded to include a school for girls, one for boys, and a third building containing a hall and a gymnasium. By 1895, enrollment had grown to 70 children. Initially, pupils were drawn from the New England states, but in later years children came to the kindergarten from all over the country. The school was unable to expand fast enough to keep up with the demand for its services, and many children were put on waiting lists until sufficient funding was available.  In 1913, Perkins and the Kindergarten for the Blind moved to its present location in Watertown, Massachusetts. The kindergarten became a department of Perkins School for the Blind, eventually expanding its instruction through grade six and becoming known as the Lower School.   [ld]

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