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A noctograph is a writing instrument composed of a piece of paper whose underside is treated with printer's ink carbon paper and a metal board with clips to hold the paper in place and guidelines to make for straight writing in the dark. The user writes with a metal stylus, and thus does not have to ink a pen or worry about knocking an inkstand over. The original purpose was to allow the blind or partially sighted to write with more ease than with a traditional pen, although it has also been used by the fully sighted to write in the dark.[1] It was originally patented by Ralph Wedgwood in 1806.

Notable users

  • William H. Prescott[2] The noctograph that Prescott used to write his many historical volumes is on display at the William Hickling Prescott House (house museum) at 55 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[citation needed]
  • James Holman[3]

See also

  • Nyctograph—a card template of square holes invented by Lewis Carroll in 1891 to write in the dark.


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