A Christmas entertainment, presented in sign language for the deaf and dumb, at the Hanover Square rooms, London. Wood engraving, 1865.

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A Christmas entertainment, presented in sign language for the deaf and dumb, at the Hanover Square rooms, London. Wood engraving, 1865. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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"Association in aid of the Deaf and Dumb. The second annual soirée of this association was held at the Hanover-square Rooms on Monday week. It was attended, not only by the subscribers and friends of the association, but also by a large number of the deaf and dumb themselves. After tea the chair was taken by Mr. Philip Cazenove. who addressed the meeting in a short speech, which the Rev. S. Smith, the chaplain of the association, translated on his fingers for the benefit of the deaf and dumb visitors. On the conclusion of the chairman's speech, Mr. Smith exhibited the phenomenon of an address delivered simultaneously to the ears and eyes of the different portions of the meeting. He informed them that, although sufficient funds had not yet been accumulated to allow the committee to begin to carry out the objects of the association, they were in hopes that before another year had passed they might be enabled to commence. The objects in view were:-First. A place of worship for the deaf and dumb, who could not benefit by oral instruction and had generally too limited a knowledge of book-language to read the service to advantage. Secondly. To give assistance to aged and infirm deaf mutes, some of whom were known to be working for a bare subsistence at upwards of seventy years of age. Thirdly. To provide a room for weekly lectures and for weekly reading, where the deaf and dumb might meet together to improve themselves and interchange ideas. In aid of these objects about £2000 had already been raised. The Queen had showed her interest in the undertaking by a donation of £50. Lord Carbery, himself deaf and dumb, had given £100 ; and if another £1000 were raised the committee thought they might commence the work. It was not easy to find a site such as was needed, and it was thought advisable that the institution should be located somewhere between Portland-place on the one side and Gray's-inn-lane on the other. Mr. Smith said he also hoped to raise a fund to give prizes to deaf mutes for proficiency in painting, skill as workmen, or steadiness of conduct. Some of them were good artists. A deaf and dumb artist had only the week before ganed a silver medal at the Royal Academy. Mr. Smith's speech was closelt attended to, and those who watched him frequently gave loud tokens of their approbation. The Rev. Arthur Casimir, Dr. Grosvenor, the Rev. W. Cadman, and other gentlemen, also addressed the meeting; and Professor Artis gave some recitations, which were translated, like the speeches, by Mr. Smith into the finger language of the deaf and dumb. After a vote of thanks to the chairman had been passed, as the serious business of the evening was over, its lighter entertainments were commenced by Professor Matthews, who ascended the platform and exhibited some wonderful tricks of legerdemain. He announced that he would perform a whole evening for the benefit of the funds of this association. This was followed by a performance [of] vocal music, Mr. Wass's new cantata being sung by a party of amateur friends ; and the evening closed with the illumination of a Christmas tree and the distribution of many articles thereon suspended among the juvenile visitors. We give an Illustration of this entertainment for the sake of its benevolent object."—Illustrated London news, loc. cit.

People in the audience communicate to each other in sign language


[London] : [Illustrated London News], [1865]

Physical description

1 print : wood engraving


Entertainment at the Hanover Square rooms to the inmates of the deaf and dumb institution - see next page.


Wellcome Collection 17959i


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