James and Margaret in the News
- James and Margaret in the News
Science Moves to Aid These Twins: Deaf, dumb and blind from birth, Margy and Jimmy Allan [sic], 6-year-old twins, are shown at the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Watertown, where modern science hopes to free their 'imprisoned' minds. The twins were sent to the institute by Helen Keller. Physicians hope to put the children in contact with the outside world by means of bone and muscle vibration. Twins: Blind, Deaf, Mute, Here for Aid at Institute" An open letter to YOU -- who might think life's road stormy: The Boston Evening American today found six-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who can smile in spite of a triple handicap that robs them of speech, sight and hearing." "All the way from Bay Village, Ohio, Jimmy and Margy, twin children of Dr. and Mrs. Donald Allan came to Perkins Institution for the Blind in Watertown where Laura Bridgman, the first deaf-blind mute ever to be educated was released from the dark silence. It was here, too, where Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller's teacher, was taught. Two days after Christmas, in 1930, Jimmy and Margy were born -- but not like you or me. Double cataracts obscured all vision. A mother and dad, who never for one moment gave up hope, allowed an operation to be performed a year later. Then to their cherished youngsters came limited vision, enough to see objects, but not to distinguish one from the other. But still there shown into the Allan home that slim ray of hope." Education Worry "Maybe sometime, some day, surgery might go a step further to aid Jimmy and his twin sister, Margy. But the hand of fate suddenly stepped in, cruel and cold as it can be sometimes. Jimmy and Margy were found to be deaf. Like all children unable to hear, they did not learn to speak, since speech can only be acquired by imitation. They grew older, Jimmy and Margy, happy between themselves, playing in their own way, normal in every respect and healthy in body. But to Dr. Allan and his wife there was that concern over their education. 'For a time we did not know,' says Mrs. Allan, 'whether they could ever receive the education that their sister at home is receiving." "But that slim ray of hope brightened the Allan home a little more than usual one day when a letter sent to Helen Keller brought the first real happiness to the parents. Dr. Gabriel Farrell of Perkins Institution answered the letter, sent him by Miss Keller, and told what was being done for many children similarly handicapped. To Watertown then came Jimmy and Margy. To a new life. To run toward that first goal of overcoming the handicap of deafness and to learn to hear." "Next they will strive to overcome the handicap of blindness and will learn to read through their fingers. During this instruction speech development will be carried on until the art of speaking is acquired. That is their program. It is their education which they will receive by going to school day by day. Jimmy and Margy began school today. They mingled joyfully with several other deaf-blind children in that special department. While they showed childish thrills by their new friends, their games and toys, they brought similar happiness to a mother and father whom they have never seen but who have caressed and loved them." "On leaving the school, Mrs. Allan, a burden lifted from her heart, said, 'Few mothers can ever realize what a joy it is to me to have my children in school. To see what other children have accomplished fills me with joy and I am looking forward to the day when my children will call me Mother.'"
Perkins School for the Blind
Samuel P. Hayes Research Library
- Collection (local):
Students with Deafblindness at the Perkins School for the Blind
People with disabilities
Perkins School for the Blind
Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind
- 4 clipping
Samuel P. Hayes Research Library, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA
Contact host institution for more information.
Boston Evening American
Picture of James and Margaret Allen, twins with deafblindness at age six at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts with newspaper clipping: "Twins Blind, Deaf, Mute Here for Aid at Institute"
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