logo blue Deaf History -


1800 - 1900

1800 - 1900

1810 - 1891: Claudius Forrestier, Deaf Teacher (FR)

Claudius Forestier was the director of the institution des sourds-muets in Lyon from 1852 until 1891 and one of the founders of the Société centrale des sourds-muets in 1838.

1814 - 1863: Pierre Pélissier (FR)

Pierre Pélissier was a pioneer for deaf education in France in the mid 19th century. 

1814 - 1865: Václav Frost  (CZ)

1814 - 1865: Václav Frost (CZ)

Václav Frostwas born on February 4, 1814 in Nosálov, he died on June 21, 1865 in Konojedy (Litoměřice district), and was buried in Olšany cemeteries in Prague.

In 1840 he was called as the first teacher to the Prague Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, of which he became director and catechist in 1841. 

1816 - 1903: Jeanette (Johanna) Apollonia Berglind (SE)

Johanna "Jeanette" Apollonia Berglind (21 August 1816, in Stockholm – 14 September 1903, in Stockholm), was a Swedish sign language teacher and principal. In 1860, she founded one of the first schools for the deaf in her country: Tysta Skolan (Silent School) in Stockholm.

1817: First School for the Deaf in Poland

The Institute of the Deaf was established on October 23, 1817 on the initiative of Fr. Jakub Falkowski. Initially, it was located on the premises of the University of Warsaw in the Kazimierzowski Palace, and in the years 1820–1827 in the house of the visiting sisters at Krakowskie Przedmieście.

On April 26, 1826, the construction of the seat of the Institute at Plac Trzech Krzyży began.

1817: First school for the Deaf in the USA, Hartford

1817: First school for the Deaf in the USA, Hartford

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet met the French educators Abbe Sicard, Laurent Clerc, and Jean Massieu, of the Institut Royal des Sourds-Muets in Paris.

Impressed with the trio he joined them in Paris and learned as much as he could of the language and their methods. On his return to the United States, he invited deaf instructor Laurent Clerc to join him and, in 1817, they established the first permanent school for deaf children in the States, eventually known as the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut.

1819: First School for the Deaf in Belgium - Walloon

1819: First School for the Deaf in Belgium - Walloon

"A school for the deaf and the blind opened in Liège, thanks to the efforts of Jean-Baptiste Pouplin.

In Februari 1819, the institute was founded and Pouplin became its director. Six months later, Joseph Henrion (1793 - 1868) was appointed as a deaf teacher to assist Pouplin, his father-in-law. Henrion was a former pupil of Sicard."

1820: First school for the deaf in Belgium - Flanders

1820: First school for the deaf in Belgium - Flanders

The first school for the deaf in Flanders was established in 1820 in the mother monastery of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary in the Molenaarsstraat in Ghent.

In 1819, the young candidate sister Theresia Verhulst went to Paris for nine months to manage the school in order to learn the sign language method of priest Charles-Michel De l'Epée. After her return, she became the first principal of the school until her death in 1854.


1822 - 1882: Ernest Huet (FR, BR)

Born in 1822 in Paris, Ernest Huet belonged to a noble family in France. At the age of only 12, Ernest had measles and, as a result of this illness, he became deaf.  He studied at the National Institute for the Deaf in Paris. In 1855, Huet moved to Brazil.

In large part, due to Huet's dedication, in 1857, on September 26, the Imperial Instituto Nacional de Surdos-Mudos was founded in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The mixture of the sign language applied by Huet with the language used by the Brazilian deaf gave rise to the Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS).

1823 - 1875: Bruno Braquehais, Photographer (FR)

Bruno Braquehais was born in Dieppe, France in 1823. Although records don’t state how he lost his hearing, Braquehais was deaf from a young age. When he was nine years old, he started at the Royal Institute of the Deaf and Mute in Paris. He later found work as a lithographer.

1825: First school for the Deaf in Norway, Trondheim

1825: First school for the Deaf in Norway, Trondheim

In Norway there was a deaf person, Andreas Christian Møller, who established the first school for the deaf back in 1825.

At this school, sign language was the language of instruction.

1826 - 1863: Carl Oscar Malm (FI)

1826 - 1863: Carl Oscar Malm (FI)

Carl Oscar Malm was born in the Iso-Vahe ’rustholli’ estate in the parish of Eura on 12 February 1826.

Malm’s deafness was first noticed when he was expected to start speaking.

In August 1834, the 8-year-old Malm arrived at Manilla, the school for the deaf in Stockholm. The school’s most renowned teacher was Johan Gerhard Holtz, deaf himself. Malm was Holz’s private student until 1840, after which he became an actual student at Manilla. As was the common practice at the school, Malm learned two languages as Holtz’s student: the sign language used at the school and written Swedish.
Even during his school years, Malm dreamt of founding a school for the deaf in Finland. After returning to Finland, Malm started working as a private teacher for two deaf boys in the parsonage of Koivisto in February 1846.