Search this site:


Previous: Software error | Main | Next: Bose radio buttons

November 7, 2003 12:03 AM

Broken: Alabama quarter

Mary Pat LaBoda writes:

It's cool that Braille is included on the Alabama state quarter depicting Helen Keller. However, I'm assuming a blind person would never be able to read it at that scale. In fact, sighted people would have plenty of difficulty without the aid of a magnifying glass, assuming they know the Braille alphabet. They look like specks of dust. I'll bet it was impressive projected in a Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation, though.


Speaking of broken, the image link returns a 404 :/

Posted by: Anon at November 7, 2003 04:04 AM

Sorry - fixed..

Posted by: Mark Hurst at November 7, 2003 10:11 AM

It's a nice symbolic gesture, though.

Posted by: Joseph J. Finn at November 7, 2003 12:18 PM

I'll bet it's pretty impressive being contrary. I'm sure their intention was artistic, though, and not practical.

Posted by: Anonymous at November 7, 2003 07:59 PM

This is NOT broken. It's not as if they tried to make the coin "more accessible" and failed. Mark, not to be rude, but is there a criteria for "broken" or is this just stuff you find amusing?

Posted by: Robby at November 8, 2003 08:09 PM

I agree with Mary Pat that the design is flawed: why put braille on the quarter if it's too small for any blind user to experience it? (Too small for any sighted user, in fact, unless they have a magnifying glass on hand..)

Posted by: Mark Hurst at November 10, 2003 11:19 AM

I doubt the Braille is meant to be practical in any way. It's symbolic, that's all. You don't expect to be able to read that book on her lap, do you?

Posted by: tommasina at November 13, 2003 02:22 PM

The whole US paper money system is broken. Other countries use different sized bills to represent different denomination bills. In the USA it is impossible for a blind person to know if their change from a $100 bill is a $50 bill or a $1 bill.

Now that IS broken!

Posted by: Leo at November 14, 2003 08:39 AM

speaking of this I really have a flawed Alabama State Quarter. This is how I found this website. The state name is barrely ledgeable like it was not struck hard enough the letters "alab" are clear and the "ama" in alabama, starts to fade to where you can barely see it unless you hold it at an angle. The real extrodinary thing about this is that it is part of an uncirculated set witch means that this is even rarer than a circulated flaw they are supposed to be struck harder for finer detail. All I would like to know if any one else has had this, or would know what this set is worth.

Posted by: TONY DAGOSTINO at December 1, 2003 12:38 PM

I just happened upon the 2003 Alabama state quarter and wondered what the Braille letters above Helen Keller's name said. I would assume that it is to be Helen Keller's name in Braille, but not knowing Braille myself had to look really hard at the "specks" and use a chart to translate the letters into English. The best I can tell, the letters are



*is like a backwards "p"?

Does anyone know anything of this? What am I missing?

Posted by: Tim Lillard at December 4, 2003 01:43 AM

I was confused by this too. I expected it to be her name in braille, but something didn't seem quite right. Even simple pattern matching showed something was wrong (trivial with all those 'e's and 'l's). After some searching, I found the answer - "Grade 2 braille". The 2 leading "dot-6"s mean "Capitalize the following word" (a single leading "dot-6" means "Capitalize the following letter"). The "en" and "er" endings are abreviated by a single "cell".

Posted by: Max Euston at December 21, 2003 10:38 AM

geez, you guys. it's a quarter.

Posted by: Aaron Wolfe at June 13, 2004 08:59 PM

Hey what's all this about Windows Power Point knocking copy. PP is very god, I have a presentation here to show how good it is.....but I now realise that PP doesn't handle Braille - better get an e-mail off to Bill G

Posted by: Blairsnemesis at June 18, 2004 08:22 AM

This isn't nearly as boken as something I've seen on every airplane i've flown on: braille markers on the reading-light switches...

Posted by: Atocles at July 7, 2004 12:46 PM

How about the braille on the drive-thru ATMs?

Posted by: D Hodder at August 29, 2004 07:50 PM

Sorry guys...I agree with Aaron.

Posted by: Ilaan at September 27, 2004 08:08 AM

We start the conversation talking about a coin and end with talking about ATMs. Talk about discussion creep.

This is a beautiful coin with a wonderful sentiment.

Posted by: John at November 16, 2004 08:29 PM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous: Software error | Main | Next: Bose radio buttons

Previous Posts: