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

Ardente "Acoustique" Carbon Hearing Aid

The Ardente "Acoustique" is a carbon hearing aid that was sold by R. H. Dent of London during the 1920s and 1930s.

The Art Deco style small lady’s carrying case or evening wear purse is made of celluloid, imitating tortoiseshell.

The Ardente "Acoustique" contains a double carbon microphone. The microphone opening is a fretwork grill cut out around the name "Ardente" at the front bottom of the case.

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The earphone (shown at right) stores away in a small compartment (picture below at right).  The earphone was held in place by a headband (not shown).

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A metal cord winder for the earphone cord sits in the top of the case. Under this is where the 4˝ volt battery is stored.


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The volume control is located on the left end.


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Close-up of the volume control and on/off switch. The loudness is increased by moving the 4-step sliding volume control to the right.

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The Ardente Acoustique used a 4˝ volt carbon-zinc battery. This battery was similar to the lantern batteries of the day, but had the Ardente name imprinted on it.

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The registration number 704561 imprinted in gold in the inside top of the case dates the design to 1924. This model may have been produced for a number of years. However, there is a bit of an anomaly in that the address of the company, 95 Wigmore Street, London, is imprinted in the top of the case also. It is thought that R. H. Dent did not do business from that address until 1948. This is rather late for a carbon hearing, although not impossible. By that time wearable vacuum tube hearing aids had mostly overtaken the market from the carbon hearing aids.

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