1890 Census, Perkins Institution

Cover of the 1890 Census, Perkins Institution
January 20, 2016

This handwritten ledger contains detailed medical and family records of students at the Perkins School for the Blind, formerly Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind. It was conducted as part of the Eleventh Census of the United States, Supplemental Schedule No. 4, Statistics of the Blind, Special Schedule for Schools for the Blind. 

To access a digital copy of the census please visit the Internet Archive.

Among the most interesting information in the report is a listing for Helen Keller stating the cause of her blindness and deafness as "consumption of the stomach" (Page 17-18 and Supplemental Schedule No. 3, Statistics of the Deaf, pages 1-2).

Ledger containing detailed descriptions on the cause of blindness for each individual.
The ledger also contains detailed descriptions on the cause of blindness for each individual.
Cause of Blindness (figure 1)

Brain fever
Cut with piece of tin (right), Pierced by pitchfork (left)
Discharge of cannon
Scarlet fever
Congenital (right), Measles (left)
Congenital (right), Cataract (left)
Atrophy optic nerve
Lymph. Ophthalmia (right), Blow of stick (left)
Mydriasis, nystagmus, atrophy 
Blow of base ball

Cause of Blindness (figure 2)
Cause of Blindness (figure 2)

​Congenital cataract
Fall followed by meningitis and atrophy optic nerve
Gunshot wound (right), Symp. ophth.(left)
Retinal separation each eye
Symph. Inflam. (right), struck with knife (left)
Symp. ophthal. (right), Gunshot (left)
Ophthalmia neonatorum
Vascular keratitis each eye
Purulent ophthal. (right), Ophthalmia (left)
Hit by a stone (right), Symp. affection (right)
Ophthalmia neonatorum
Cerebro-spinal meningitis
Fall, striking back of head