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Program 603

1. American Printing House for the Blind
2. Fulton
3. Metropolis Lake
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Jefferson County

For more information:
American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Ave., P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206, (502) 895-2405, (800) 223-1839

Producer: Donna Ross
Videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Books and More for the Visually Impaired

American Printing House for the Blind

In 1842, Kentucky became the third state to establish a public school for the blind. Sixteen years later, hoping to keep the cost of educational materials down by centralizing production, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to establish the American Printing House for the Blind as an extension of the school. But before much actual publishing could be done, the Civil War intervened; the school building itself was pressed into service as a military hospital. Funding uncertainties made the next few decades a little rocky, too, but eventually the printing house began to grow and flourish. Today it is the oldest institution of its kind in the United States and the world’s largest company devoted to creating products and services for people who are visually impaired.

In this case, “printing” includes not just books and magazines in Braille, but also large-type publications, recordings, computer software, tactile graphic publications, and an assortment of other products for education and daily living.

Located on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, the printing house offers public tours every Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm ET. An on-site museum houses exhibits devoted to the history of products for the visually impaired, as well as the manufacturing technologies used to create them. There’s no official charge, but donations are always welcome.

Fulton County

For more information:
• Fulton Tourist Office, 1010 W. State Line, Fulton, KY 42041, (270) 472-3893

Producer, videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Along the Tracks

Railroad history in Fulton

For our next segment, host Dave Shuffett is both behind and in front of the camera (although not simultaneously) for a tour of Fulton, Kentucky’s southernmost city. Facing each other across the state line, Fulton, KY and South Fulton, TN make up the region’s version of the “Twin Cities.”

The romance of the rails is the theme for the day as Dave talks to retired railroad workers about Fulton’s history as a rail shipping hub. One particularly important cargo starting in the 1920s was bananas. Offloaded from ships in the Gulf of Mexico, the bananas would need re-icing by the time they reached southern Kentucky, and it was in Fulton that the refrigerator cars were serviced and re-routed.

For a few decades starting in 1963, Fulton paid tribute to the yellow fruits with an annual banana festival. Sadly, though, today you’ll have to go elsewhere to find the “world’s largest banana pudding.” But you can still catch passenger trains in Fulton (one of the few places in Kentucky still served by Amtrak), and each September, at the Pontotoc Festival, visitors can stuff themselves with a more indigenous Western Kentucky delicacy: barbecue.

McCracken County

For more information:
Metropolis Lake State Nature Preserve, c/o Ogden Dean’s Office, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd. #11075, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 745-7005

Producer, videographer, editor: Gale Worth

In the Swamp

Metropolis Lake State Nature Preserve

The scenery that ends this episode might seem more appropriate for Louisiana Life, but it really is in Kentucky. Just a little northeast of our last stop, close to the Ohio River in McCracken County, is Metropolis Lake, an oxbow lake that’s largely cypress swamp. It’s the centerpiece of a state nature preserve.

SEASON 6 PROGRAMS: 601602603604605606607608: The Dixie Highway609
610: Along U.S. 68611612613614615616617618619620621622623

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