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Deaf People in LIFE Magazine


Updated February 25, 2012

11. September 22, 1952:

"Speech in Color." Students at the Tennessee School for the Deaf study speech using colored lights. One little girl, Jean Stroupe, is shown using the equipment.

September 22, 1952, page 73

12. November 16, 1953:

"A Great Photo Tells a Moving Story." Helen Keller meets President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower. Helen asked for permission to touch the President's face so she could feel his famous smile. Smiling, Ike obliged.

November 16, 1953, page 42

13. March 29, 1954:

"Determining Deafness in Babies: Doctors Measure Perspiration to Study Hearing Defects in Infants Too Young to React to Other Tests." In the 1950s, it was very difficult to determine deafness in young infants. The magazine reported on a new test that involved measuring how much sweat a baby produced when exposed to sound. Whoever wrote the article obviously knew nothing about deaf babies because the writer commented that deaf babies were not bothered by hearing aids. Illustrated with photos of toddlers and babies being tested.

March 29, 1954, page 77

14. June 21, 1954:

"The Story of Helen Keller." A film - actually a documentary - was made of the life of Helen Keller. Photos from the documentary, including one of Helen at age 6, are included in this article.

June 21, 1954, page 95

15. November 29, 1954:

"Quiet Hands Spell a Marriage." LIFE visited the wedding of a deaf couple in England. The wedding was conducted in British sign language.

November 29, 1954, page 56

16. March 28, 1955:

"The Listening Hand." In early 1955, a court allowed a deaf-blind couple to raise their baby son. LIFE published pictures of the mother, who had minimal vision, learning how to care for her son.

March 28, 1955, page 36

17. June 20, 1955:

"Touch of Music for the Deaf." This is about deaf children in Switzerland using the vibrations of music to help learn how to speak. LIFE did not name the school, but said it was in Zurich.

June 20, 1955, page 95

18. April 23, 1956:

"Grace in a Silent World." LIFE spotlighted the Deaf Baptist Temple in Los Angeles. The reverend was an adult child of deaf parents, a CODA. It is apparent from a photo of the church that the deaf church was housed in another church.

April 23, 1956, page 101

19. April 15, 1957:

"Now a Son Who Leads Them." LIFE revisited the deaf-blind couple who had earlier won the right to raise their son. The son has taken on the "job" of helping his parents - at just 2 years old.

April 15, 1957, page 112

20. October 26, 1959:

"First Sound He Remembers." Short photo essay of a 6-year-old boy discovering sound at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.

October 26, 1959, page 71

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