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  • Louis Braille meets a soldier who has shared his invention called "night writing" made of 12 dots which formed a code that soldiers could use to communicate at night. The code was too difficult for the soldiers to learn. Louis shortened the code to 6 dots and the Braille code was formed. [1]
  • Charles Bell is the first to identify the trajectory of the facial nerve and a disease which led to the unilateral palsy (paralysis) of facial muscles (Bell's Palsy), in a paper to the Royal Society entitled On the Nerves: Giving an Account of some Experiments on Their Structure an Functions, Which Lead to a New Arrangement of the System.
  • Karl Drais invents the "short-hand machine", known today as the stenotype machine, that is used by closed captioners to create real-time captions.[2]


  • August 31 - Hermann von Helmholtz - German physician, inventor of the ophthalmoscope, an instrument used to examine the inside of the human eye. Today people with diabetes mellitus are required to have regular ophthalmoscopic eye examinations to screen for diabetic retinopathy.


  1. Louis Braille Biography. American Federation of the Blind. Accessed on January 30, 2008.
  2. "Karl Drais." NationMaster. 2008. Accessed on May 19, 2008.