Dr William Moon

 … the founder of Sussex Lantern

There are exceptional individuals who overcome severe disabilities, providing inspiration and encouragement to others.

William Moon is one such person. He was an important figure in the history of the Blind throughout the United Kingdom, and became so all over the World. There is no doubt had he lived today he would have been given the recognition he so richly deserved.

It was said, It was as if no blind people existed before his advent; like dark shadows they were swept out of the way from normal life.

The Story of William Moon

The story of this remarkable man is amazing, and the very real legacy of his hard work and triumph is still supporting and enriching the lives of people today.

William Moon started to lose his sight when he became ill with scarlet fever, at the age of four. It was Williams fervent wish to become a Clergyman, but his total loss of sight at the age of twenty one made this impossible.

Inspiring achievements

He became an inventor, printer, translator, teacher and missionary. He also set up a missionary fund to sponsor others to help blind people all over the world.

William Married and had two children. Despite personal hardship, William produced his own system of embossed writing, and embossed pictures. In December 1852 The new Testament was completed in moon-type.

His truly magnificent achievement was acclaimed, and he was made a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society (F.R.G.S.). 551 different works were published, and amazingly it was adapted to 223 foreign languages, from Dutch to Urdu.

Home Teaching Society

In 1855 The Home Teaching Society was formed, first in Brighton and also in London, soon it spread to cover the whole country, to the outer regions of Great Britain and Ireland, bringing help and support to many blind people.

Most blind people lived a bleak existence, with no contact to education and little to make them aware of a larger world beyond. Many were left to live their lives in darkness without hope.

Example of Moontype
Blind Female Typesetter – rare in those days. The workshop at that time employed a number of Blind people.
Printing the pages of a ‘Moon Book’
'The Lantern' - 141 preston road
‘The Lantern’ – 141 preston road
The Blind Asylum in Eastern Road
The Blind Asylum in Eastern Road


Worldwide influence

William’s work spread around the world. Free lending libraries for the blind were set up and workshops for the blind were opened, so they could be taught skills, which would enable them to earn money and achieve some degree of independence.

A few months before his death William said in a speech, “My life has been a Long Black Night but a Beautiful Bright Day”.
Sussex Lantern – here and now!

The Sussex Lantern, inspired by the great works of William Moon, continues his innovation in helping blind and disabled people through health, fitness, recreation and training.

Click here if you’d like to help support Sussex Lantern


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