Guilly d'Herbemont

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Guilly d'Herbemont (June 25, 1888 – February 28, 1980) was the inventor of the white cane for blind people. Guilly was the daughter of a Belgian and a Frenchman. She was born in Brussels as a child, she lived alternately in Brussels and Paris. she later moved to Paris as a musician and writer. It occurred to her that blind people on the streets of Paris were increasingly endangered by the motorization of transport. The police in France used white signal sticks to regulate traffic and stop cars. Mrs d'Herbemont had the idea of putting the color white or white-painted sticks visually impaired and blind transporters in order to draw attention to themselves.

In 1930, d'Herbemont wrote a letter to the director of the national daily newspaper L'Écho de Paris. This letter was published causing much consternation.

On February 7, 1931, d'Herbemont symbolically presented, in the presence of several ministers, the first two white canes. These were given to a blind soldier and a blind civilian. These were followed by the distribution of 5000 white canes to blind French veterans from World War I and blind civilians.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Guilly d'Herbemont – Beginnings of the White Cane".
  2. ^ "Archive de Guy d'Herbemont livraison4gh/N852 4".

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