RMH was the driving force behind the development of education for the deaf-mutes in Denmark, particularly in terms of the organizational set up and the formulation of comprehensive goals. In cooperation with Johan Keller he managed to introduce a reform in 1867, whereby the pupils were grouped according to their learning abilities and degree of hearing loss, such that they would all benefit from the kind of education and methods that were best adapted to their situation. He was behind the establishment of the institute in Fredericia in 1881 and was the driving force in the public commission of 1888, whose proposals were accepted and turned into reality after his death: The government took over the private institutes, a new institute was established in Nyborg, and all the schools for the deaf and deaf-mutes were integrated into one general organization and plan. Fredericia was selected as a pre-school at which all deaf-mutes must stay for a year in order for the teachers to assess their individual abilities and needs, before they would gain entrance to the school or institution, whose methods could cater for their specific needs and abilities in the best possible way. RMH's modern and far-sighted vision became a reality! This was well known in Scandinavia as "the Danish division (selection)" and became highly influential in the other Nordic countries.A description about Rasmus Hans' typewriter and the first invention of the writing ball:
The writing ball was not only the first typewriter to be produced and sold in a relatively large quantity, it is also the fastest typewriter ever made, because of the unique construction of the "ball". Malling-Hansen was experimenting with the placement of the letters already in 1865 - and he succeeded in finding a placement of the letters that made the writing speed extremely fast. Not many people know that the traditional qwerty-keyboard was designed with the goal of preventing the arms from "hanging up" in each other, and in no way was designed to get the fastest writing speed - on the contrary!I'm surmising at this point whether his typewriter and writing ball invention which was finally patented in 1870 and "mass produced" beginning in 1872 was a subconscious effort on finding ways to communicate faster and better with deaf people rather than by pen and paper. Or perhaps it was a conscious effort of his on finding ways to educate deaf people through the use of his "extremely fast" typewriter even though nothing is documented to say that was the case. The timing of his typewriter invention occurred during a period while he was the minister and principal at the Royal Institute for the Deaf-mutes in Copenhagen and the fact that he excelled as a reformer in his field, education for the deaf and deaf-mutes would appear suspect as perhaps his primary reason to invent his typewriter was partly because of his association of all things with deaf people.
Now, if you ask me, Rasmus Hans Johan Malling-Hansen's typewriter certainly look quite steampunk to me. Quite a gorgeous piece. There are plenty of steampunk typewriters today. Perhaps the Malling-Hansen's typewriter could be put into a collection of all things steampunk deaf?