Was Braille widespread in Europe in the 1800s?


Ad Honorem
Apr 2009
Alabama, USA
Sorry for the random question, but this is kind of background research on a story I'm working on.

Basically, I know Braille was invented by Louis Braille in the early 1800s, but what I'm wondering are the following:

1) How long was it before it became a thing to teach the blind across Europe? I understand that Louis did have a hard time trying to get his method across to his peers at the school he worked in, but eventually France accepted it.

2) Since the Braille system didn't arrive to the United States in 1863, how would the blind there learn how to read? Were they just SOL until 1863 came around? Would it have been realistic for...say...a blind American to learn Braille before 1863 due to connections to European friends who were aware of such a system?

3) Why did it take so long for it to reach the United States?