Congratulations to Our Winners!

Debbie Sterbinsky                Dawn Carlile
Sharon Martin                Mike Dalton
Mary Fraser                Kelly Fetherlin
Sherri Fenley                Suzan Farris
Gwen and Mark Upton
Tom Pincince & Dave Doucette
Loren Godburn                Stan Read
Alan Cullinan                Bob McKenna
Alice Miles               Rick Mckinney
Kristi Murdock                Ellis Nienhaus
Rick Norman                Marjorie Wilser
Tom Tullis                Grace Hertz
Frank Nollette
               Sandy Thompson
Brett Payne                Emily Aulicino
Judy Pfaff                Edee Scott
Fred Stuart                Jinny Collins
Streets. By then, the enrollment had reached fifty-nine students who studied academic
subjects, music and made articles to sell in a workshop. Subsequently, principals,
directors and members of the board of managers continued to devote themselves to the
students and the mission of the school. They reached out to found other schools for the
blind, constantly worked to establish more suitable means of communication for the
blind, established a kindergarten and became advocates of training the blind for

It continued to grow, offering quality education to the children of the area who were
blind or visually impaired.In 1899, the school was again moved, this time to its present
location at 6333 Malvern Avenue. It was re-named Overbrook School for the Blind in
1946.Today the school includes a main building with classrooms, offices, an
auditorium, a library and a touch and learn center. Two separate buildings house
Abraham and Sarah Marsh, were the first pupils in 1832.

Within the year, in March 1833 a constitution was written, a Board of Managers
selected, a building rented and the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the
Blind was formally instituted. The governor of Pennsylvania was the patron. Eleven
pupils were enrolled.

The mission of the school and the system of instruction was set by Julius Friedlander
based on successes achieved by institutions of similar character in Europe, especially
Paris. So successfully did the school proceed that a new building was built in 1835 at
the Northwest corner of what is presently Twentieth and Race Streets in Philadelphia.

Many prominent citizens contributed their money, time, and energy to the development
of the school, including William Young Birch, who left his legacy to the school. Those
friends enabled a printing press to be purchased. In 1833 the Gospel of Mark had been
printed by hand at the school. That book was the first in North America for the blind.
Special Award for the Most Creative Answer:

I reviewed the photo from your website. From the high pitch in the slate roof it's clear
they lived in a rainy climate.  (The high pitch sheds water faster.)  It's not raining so it's
clearly past the monsoon season.  It must be winter.  It must have been a quick frost...
the plants didn't even have time to lose their leaves---they just froze in place. It appears
that the children and their attendants met the same fate.  Proof positive:  Note that you
can't see their breath in the air... they're not breathing.  Are they playing freeze tag?

You may post it anonymously---for reasons that I hope are obvious to the reader
(they'd have me committed.)

Do I win?  Do I win???                                                                     
- Anonymous


I just passed the quiz photo around to my husband.  His first guess was “Is it the Helen
Keller school of dance?”   LOL   
                                                             Judy Pfaff


The gigglers are going to be found first.                                       Judy Pfaff (Again)


When I was a kid we called it "Blind Man's Bluff". Confirmed by my wife. That's how I
got her.           
                                                                                Ellis Nienhaus


I had to call in the reinforcements for this one.  This is a game of hide and seek at the
Overbrook School for the Blind in Phili. My colleague Dave Doucette was the person
who tracked this down. The LOC call number is LC-B2- 811-15[P&P] and the
reproduction number is LC-DIG-ggbain-03972.  Part of the Bain Collection; there are at
least five other photos from Overbrook in the collection. It is an eery photo -- sort of
Harry Potter-esque.                                               
Tom Pincince & Dave Doucette

N.B.  Good work!  I am glad to see the Brix Photo-Mystery Response Team is still on
the job.


That one was fun!  Not sure if I would have figured it out without the "Overbrook"
clue at the top.  But when a search on Overbrook yielded an Overbrook School for the
Blind that's 175 years old, I figured I was on the right track.  Then I found the
Overbrook book on Amazon (
Campus-History/dp/0738549169/) and a close-up of the photo on the book's cover
pretty much convinced me that it was where the photo was taken.  Then I started
guessing what the girls in the photo might be doing.  It looked like some sort of game,
and eventually I searched on "overbrook school blind hide seek", which led me to the
very same photo:                               Tom Tullis


What an interesting photo and how we do take our vision for granted, don't we?
Thanks so much.      
                                                                          Grace Hertz


We are going to take a shot in the "dark". Are they playing Marco Polo?
                                                                        Gwen and Mark Upton


Actually... I just looked at the photo on your website and it looked like they were
playing marco polo but out of the water, so I guessed.  But now I will make the time to
search for it to see where you got it from!
                                           Sheri Fenley


Well, the reason I wasn't sure whether it was BLIND mans bluff or freeze tag was the
lack of a BLIND fold. My first impression was that it was a school for the blind and the
girls are playing a game....Shoulda gone with it, huh??? Amazing... I Googled
Overbrook and got lots of stuff from Philly... but didn't go so far as to add school for
the blind.  Being from Philly, I should have known about it, but the only thing I knew
about is Wills Eye Hospital.                                                        
          Suzan Farris


The reason I thought of Blind Mans Bluff in the picture is because most of the people
were not hiding but were just in odd places not on the main floor. It was obvious that
the seeker was keeping their eyes closed because they were feeling around with their
arms extended.                                    
                                          Loren Godburn

N.B.  Maybe they were blind.....


Charades... I can't imagine that one at a school for the blind, either....
                                                                                       Mary Fraser

I would venture to say that the game would be hide and seek.  Seek and ye shall find,
feel and ye shall touch. Though a child's game, this exercise would help the students to
get acquainted with their surroundings, ie count the number of steps from one side to
another and have a "visualization" of the size of the area, etc. Very useful in crossing
streets and lanes; and navigating open corridors bounded by walls high and low, as
depicted in the photograph.         
                                                         Mike Dalton


These are visually handicapped girls at the Overbrook School for the Blind in
Philadelphia, PA. The two girls in the center are apparently playing their version of Blind
Man's Bluff. Outdoor activity was encouraged for the children. This photo shows well
the beautiful Spanish Renaissance architecture for which Overbrook was noted.
                                                                                       Stan Read


The picture shows blind children playing at ”hide and seek” among arcade pillars at the
Overbrook School for the blind in Philadelphia, ca 1912. The blog,, where
this photo was found, is really interesting.

The previous quiz was really exciting. I spend many hours reviewing the history of the
Butler name and various burial sites in Ireland. On the third day, I actually found the
sketch of the tomb, but I did not relate it to the quiz picture. I need more training, that’s
for sure.  Keep the complicated quizzes coming. They are really a lot of fun.
                                                                                   Bob McKenna


I knew I had the right Overbrook from the text about the main building "built on the Old
Spanish Monastery plan surrounding two handsome cloisters," and their use of short
recesses for all students.          
                                                       Marjorie Wilser


This is the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia, PA. The girls, being blind,
are exploring their surroundings in order to be comfortable with them. They are
learning to function in the world via touch and gaining confidence.  (How's that for
BS?? <VBG>)        
                                                                           Emily Aulicino
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
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Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the
Forensic Genealogy book.
Quiz #118 Results
Answer to Quiz #118
July 15, 2007
What are these children doing?
They are playing hide-and-go-seek.
They are students at the
Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia.
Picture with full caption.
Overbrook School for the Blind
Comments from Our Readers
By the way, your description of what this photo is about might be a great opportunity
to put in a "plug" for designing websites in a way that makes them as accessible as
possible by people who have disabilities, including those who are blind or visually
impaired.  People with visual impairment often need the ability to increase the font size
on a webpage or otherwise enlarge the page.  People who are blind use screen-reading
software (e.g., JAWS from Freedom Scientific) to read webpages to them.  But the
pages have to be designed appropriately so that screen-reading software can handle
them.  (For example, all images must have "Alt" text to briefly describe them.)

The year 2000 U.S. census found that almost 20% of Americans reported that they
have a disability.  Designing websites so that they can be used by people with
disabilities just makes good sense.  And unfortunately, the number of people with
disabilities is increasing because of the aging of us Baby Boomers.

For more information about designing websites to make them accessible to people with
disabilities see, for example:

A number of books are also available.
Special Comment by Tom Tullis
To read about
Edith Willoughby's
School for the
on Google
Books, click
Overbrook School for the Blind
Mission Statement
The Mission of Overbrook School of the Blind is to develop and deliver education
that enhances the options available for persons with visual impairments and
other challenges so they have the greatest opportunity to experience active and
fulfilling lives.
Overbrook School for the Blind
by Edith Willoughby
Arcadia Publishing (SC)
ISBN13: 9780738549163
ISBN10: 0738549169
128 pp

Since 1832, Overbrook School for the Blind has been a leader in
providing educational programs to children and young people
who are blind and visually impaired. Julius Friedlander, the
school's founder,and other early leaders worked hard to inform
people about the educational needs of the children. Their efforts
resulted in providing reading material for the blind and
Overbrook's production of the first embossed book in America,
the Gospel of Mark, and the publication of the first magazine for
the blind, Lux en Tenebrae. Offering students access to all
educational opportunities continues to be the school's main goal,
and in the early 1990s, Overbrook pioneered the development of a school wide
technology initiative that provided students with the ability to access the curriculum,
communicate, and be successful in employment. Through rare photographs and
documents, Overbrook School for the Blind offers a glimpse at the school's role in
reaching out to people who are blind and it showcases how Overbrook has helped
thousands of students to achieve independence, self-confidence, and the skills to
experience active and fulfilling lives.
Architecture Photogallery
Red Tile Roof
He is gone -our Friend
is gone;and gone
forever.Though his
corpse lies low with the
dead-a tenant of the
silent tomb-his pure
soul has winged its way
to that bright land of
bliss, the hallowed
home of God!

Jewett H. Gray
Age 16
Funeral of Julius
Overbrook School
of the Blind
March 20,1839
Early in the 19th century, Julius
Friedlander, a young teacher of
children who were blind or had
serious visual impairments, came
to Philadelphia from Germany
determined to establish a school.
He found several prominent
Philadelphians ready to help him
in this venture.

The social climate in Philadelphia
at this time was right to begin
such a significant endeavor. Mr.
Friedlander began teaching in his
own rented quarters. Two
children, a brother and sister,
However, the printing press allowed text
books and general reading material to be
printed. The first monthly magazine for the
blind was printed using raised letters. It was
called the "Student Magazine". Copies of the
magazine are held in the school archives. This
magazine was a place for the blind to write for

Mr. Friedlander died only six years later, but,
before that time, his school was already well
established in a new building at 20th and Race
Main Campus Building
For a description
and review of the
school by Great
Schools, click
Crusader for Light
by Elisabeth D. Freund
Dorrance & Company
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
151 pages

This book presents a vivid picture of the life of Julius R. Friedlander,
who came to the United States in 1832 from Germany and founded the celebrated
Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia. Much of the information about
Friedlander, who died at the age of 35 just six years after founding the school, comes
from letters he sent to his family in Germany about his experiences and work in the
"New World". A wonderful biography of this man who was a pioneer in his field.
The “Lot of the Blind” at Laurel Hill Cemetary, Philadelphia. In
the ship- shaped burial place, William Young Birch, a former sea
merchant, is buried in the prow, Julius Friedlander at the spot of
the main mast, surrounded by pupils and teachers, Among
them Michael Snider, the printerand diarist.  For more
information, please feel free to contact the OSB archivist, Edith
Willoughby at

Working on the
2007 Celebration
Taking Notss in
Class in Braille
For More Photos, see
Learning Office
Halloween Parade
Raised Script Invented by Julius Friedlander
programs for pre-school children
and elementary age students.  The
Nevil House contains a
gymnasium, indoor track, physical
fitness room, and bowling
alleys.The school's cafeteria is
located in a modern facility basis.
immediately adjacent to the main building. Two recently renovated dormitories are
home from home for the residential students. All of the facilities are renovated and
updated on a continuous basis.Spacious, well cared for grounds totaling 20 acres
surround all the buildings and provide ample areas for play and recreation during
students' free time periods. Accessibility is important and the campus is updated on a
regular basis.

See and
For a description
and review of
Overbrook by
Private School
Review, click