Medicine: Finger Talkers

Last week at Buffalo 2,000 members of the National Association of the Deaf met to unveil a bronze and marble statue of Charles-Michel, Abbé de 1'Epée (1712-89), the man who codified the existing hand signs of his day, invented new ones and created the first intelligible means of communication for the deaf. He was a Roman Catholic priest, canon of the Cathedral of Troyes, son of Louis XIV's architect.

His church deprived him of his ecclesiastical functions because he was a Pansenist.* The Abbé developed his sign system in order to teach his...

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