Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 262

Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(SEMAPHORE.) Charles Parker. The Armed Alphabet. Illustrated broadside, 19½ x 14 inches; edge wear, repaired tears, light soiling and dampstaining, tipped to mat board on top edge. New York, 1857

Additional Details

This communication system, also dubbed "The Brachial Alphabet," was developed by a mute man from West Rupert, Vermont named Charles Parker. The text explains the system's many possible applications for communication across long distances. It is illustrated with a portrait of Parker, a cut of an eagle, and the letters of the alphabet spelled out with arms and legs. It was a precursor to flag semaphore (developed in 1866)--and perhaps to the Y.M.C.A. dance popularized by the Village People in 1979. No others traced at auction, and only 2 in OCLC.