The Evolution of Hearing Aids: The Pre-Electricity Era
Hearing loss is a condition humans have tried to overcome for centuries. In fact, the earliest recorded use of listening devices occurred in the 1600s, when sailors would use ear trumpets to hear the call of other sailors in neighbouring vessels or from different ends of the same vessel.
In the same century, an invention called the Metal Ear was created to help the user identify sounds. Most commonly made of steel, tin or copper, the Metal Ear would be worn over the ear and would amplify sound. The Metal Ear was the first known commercial hearing aid.
In the mid-1800s, more effective and affordable devices were brought to market. Among them were acoustic horns called Auricles and Cornets. They would be held up to the user's ear and would capture sound waves. Acoustic horns and ear trumpets were on display at world's fairs.
While popular, ear trumpets would become a thing of the past soon after the turn of the 20th century. That would be because of electricity and a famous invention from 1876.
Check out this video about early Ear Trumpets compliments of the Oshawa Community Museum:
You'll learn about the first electric hearing aids in our next blog post. In the meantime, be sure to take advantage of the latest in hearing-health technology by scheduling a complimentary hearing screening at Connect Hearing. Book now — and beat hearing loss!
Photo Credit: Regine Debatty