Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

The Hearing Aid Museum

Hearing Aids of all types—Ear Trumpets, Carbon Hearing Aids, Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids, Transistor Hearing Aids, Body Hearing Aids, Eyeglass Hearing Aids and much more!

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Click on the "General Information" button (top button above) for an overview and general information on this category of hearing aid.


Carbon Hearing Aids: 1900-1939

Western Electric Model 34A "Audiphone" Carbon Hearing Aid

The Western Electric 34A carbon hearing aid was manufactured by the Western Electric Company in 1925. Western Electric marketed these early hearing aids under the "Audiphone" trade name.

It was one of the few 1-piece carbon hearing aids of the time. The unit measured 7¾" by 4" by 1½" and weighed just under 2 lbs. when fitted with batteries.

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The Audiphone consists of a carbon microphone (top left) inside a metal case also holding three "D" size 1½ volt batteries (bottom half of case).

The Audiphone used a Western Electric 390-A carbon microphone. This microphone was different from other hearing aid microphones of the day in that carbon granules were used rather than the carbon block and carbon balls.

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The decal on the inside of the case.


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The wire-wound resistor  volume control (shown in the off position)  was located about half way along the cord going to the receiver (ear piece). The off position was at the top (see right). Sliding the knob down turned the hearing aid on, and then pushing it further increased the volume.

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The small receiver would have been equipped with a stock ear mold. It is shown here with a more modern clear plastic ear mold.



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