Hearing-Aid Radio (Apr, 1948)

Hearing-Aid Radio

This tiny radio adapter plugs into the side of a hearing aid, and now people who wear these gadgets have an advantage over their friends who hear normally. They can tune into their favorite program whenever they desire.

  1. Don says: February 27, 20117:09 am

    And they can tune OUT their friends . . . and spouses . . . .

  2. Kosher Ham says: February 27, 20115:13 pm

    But there is no TV screen on it.

    The coat of arms looks like Zenith radio.

  3. Michael, N5RLR says: February 27, 20119:13 pm

    Gangsta rap on the AM broadcast band? More like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. 😛

  4. Toronto says: February 28, 20118:45 am

    And they’re not gangsters?

  5. hwertz says: February 28, 201110:29 am

    I wonder if that hearing aid is big enough? But seriously, that obviously won’t fit *in* an ear. Would a hard-of-hearing person back then just wear headphones all the time? Was it strapped to their head or they like wore a hat over it? Would they just hold it up when they did want to hear what someone was saying?

  6. DrewE says: February 28, 20111:15 pm

    hwertz — there is a separate earpiece/earphone (that isn’t shown) that gets attached through a cable. The part shown here would probably be worn around the neck or stuck in/on a coat pocket or something similar, not so unlike an iPod or Walkman.

    Hearing aids were an early and successful use of the transistor, for obvious reasons. Both size and battery life are important considerations, while initial cost is not as much of a constraint as for many other electronic gadgets. This article of course predates their transistorization.

  7. Andrew L. Ayers says: February 28, 20115:12 pm

    …and to add to DrewE’s explanation: The earphone that was likely used looked something like today’s “earbud” – except it was made of hard plastic, and was larger (then again, I could be thinking of a 1950’s in-ear phone; those in the late-1940’s might be much larger than what I am thinking of).

  8. Toronto says: February 28, 20119:46 pm

    Anyone remember the early “binaural” pickup sets? They had a microphone on each earpiece, and consequently somewhat thicker cables to the set. The earpieces had “flesh” coloured disks on the outside that contained the mikes. Truly horrid by today’s standards, but probably quite a gift to the people who wore them – especially the kids.

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