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The manufacture of Braille textbooks has, in the past, been accomplished in two ways. The first is the large-scale production, utilizing zinc plate embossing presses. The second is hand production, done by a large number of dedicated volunteers. This paper outlines the trend in the last few years toward automatic Braille production and describes the development of a low-cost Braille translation and embossing system at the Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Criteria are given for the generation of input to an automatic system along with techniques for increasing the cost effectiveness of Braille manufacture.