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Hearing Aids Through the Ages- Part I

Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:09:30 AM Australia/Melbourne

Hearing Aids Through the Ages- Part ILadies and gentlemen, boys and girls—welcome to your history class for the day. Now now, don’t shrink away and head to the next blog on your list; We promise that this will be an engaging and interesting lesson in how our predecessors perceived and treated hearing loss. It hasn’t always been cochlear implants and hearing aids. In fact, once upon a time, treatments truly were based on guesswork. Not only is this mind boggling, it’s impressive and inspiring. For if we can look back to these days with affection, we can also look towards the future with baited breath. The big question on the mind of each of our readers—what’s next?


Instead of delving pointlessly into the history tomes, we’ve decided to share highlights with you from each of the past couple of centuries. First on the docket? The 17th Century. The 17th Century was all about ear trumpets. These were made from a variety of materials—everything from animal horns and wood, snail shells and silver, even sheet iron. Regardless of the material that the ear trumpets were developed from, they quickly gained popularity. Those that were hard of hearing would hold the trumpet directly up to their ear. Then the person speaking would place their mouth close to the opening of the template and repeat what they had to say. Not the smoothest method of communication, but it got the job done!


The 18th century rolled around quickly, and with it- the introduction of the hearing fan. Sounds pretty similar, doesn’t it? The hearing fan was actually nothing like the hearing trumpet. It was a lot more sleek, and it was a lot more modern. The hearing fan which was still very popular with women, men, and children, would now be eclipsed by a solution with much more aesthetic appeal.


As our hearing aid solutions evolved, so too did the degree of glamor and simplicity in their look. The 19th century was all about headbands, a way to camouflage hearing aids under fancy hairstyles or giant hats. Hard to envision what a headband design would look like hundreds of years ago? Picture- open flowers, shells and architectural details.


As we moved into the 20th century, pictures and details would come into focus (yes, pun intended) for our valued readers. We see the images of microphones and The Akouphone. We see hearing aids in places outside of head dresses and accessories, built into walking sticks and other hats, sunglasses and such. Standout award goes to the Vactuphone, another hearing-aid, which you could hear right through the device.


It’s quite a history lesson, isn’t it? And it’s not even over. Stay tuned for future posts about the intrececies of the 21st century. For as you can imagine, it’s the most recent 100 years that have been the busiest. But Hearlink thrives on the hustle and bustle of invention evolution. We’re dedicated and honored to carry on this tradition and hopefully continue to shed light on future innovations.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin