Friday, November 23, 2007

But Did He Play Pinball?

I bet you didn't know that Jamaica Plain had its own Tommy, the "deaf, dumb and blind" boy! The Jamaica Plain institution referred to was the Perkins Institution & Mass. School for the Blind, at the corner of Perkins and Day street. The kindergarten building was at the beginning of Day street.

Boston Daily Globe January 1, 1896

Tommy's Christmas.

How a Little Deaf, Dumb and Blind Boy Found Enjoyment in the Jamaica Plain Institution.

All who have heard of wonderful little Tommy Stringer one of the deaf, dumb and blind pupils of the kindergarten for the blind at Jamaica Plain, are probably interested to hear more, and one of the most recent happenings of interest in regard to Tommy, was Tommy's Christmas.

[snip remainder of article]

The rest of the article goes on in heartwarming detail to tell of the exploits of little Tommy at school. A little too much detail for our purposes, but I did find another reference to Tommy.

"The Kindergarten for the Blind at Jamaica Plain, founded by Mr. Anagnos with the assitance of his wife, serves as a preparatory school for the Perkins Institution. The schools at Jamaica Plain and South Boston quietly and persistantly realize the best educational theories for the blind and the deaf blind. Here Thomas Stringer, Edith Thomas, Elizabeth Robin, and other blind deaf mutes have received and are receiving their education. In each case so far, Mr Anagnos has found means to supply the special teacher on whom the education of the blind deaf-mute must depend. Thomas Stringer, who was received at the kindergarten literally a little animal, has spent most of his life there. During the last years he has been a regular member of one of the public schools in Roxbury, the Lowell Grammar School, from which he was graduated in June, 1903, having received his diploma with an assurance from the head master, that it had been as honestly earned as any ever given by the school."

Source: Laura Bridgman, Dr. Howe's Famous Pupil and what He Taught Her

Maud Howe Elliot, Florence Howe Hall


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