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Perhaps one of the best inventions of the 20th century was the hearing aid. These devices have allowed millions of people to reclaim their hearing and improve that which they already have. However, this did not come with a few, new inventions; it was the product of a great deal of work over the course of decades. In this article we are going to take a look at the rich history behind hearing aids over and their development over the last century in particular.

Carbon Hearing Aids

One of the types of hearing aids that were comprised in the mid 20th century was the carbon form of hearing aid. This tool had to use many parts of other devices, such as the transistor, in order to successfully work. It took sound waves and put them through a carbon microphone so that they could send carbon across a magnetic receiver. This would cause them to accelerate at the same rate as the sound waves, which would then crash into a diaphragm which would make the sound appear louder.

This was an important invention because it used technology to help people with hearing loss. It was not as effective as hoped, though, for several reasons. It was much too large to be used outside of the home, and the sound that it produced was often gritty.

Vacuum Tubes

The vacuum tube hearing aid was created by using pieces from many other different devices like phones. The design of the vacuum tube used the receiver in order to bring in the sound, and then have it transformed into electric impulses. After that, it is fed back through the electrical circuit and turned back into sound so that it could be interpreted by the user. This was incredibly useful because it could also be used to amplify the sound as it went through the circuit. As a result, people could hear better than before and investors gained the confidence to put money towards hearing aids.

Trumpets For The Ear

Another one of the forms of devices that preceded all modern hearing aids was the ear trumpet. This was used for a thousand years before technology was actually integrated into the mix. The design was simple yet elegant. A long trumpet shaped device was placed against the ear, and the larger end was pointed at the source of the sound that the person wanted to hear. It was a very simple idea and it worked for the most part. However, it could not make sounds louder or any clearer. Yet, it did help promote the need for technology to help people with hearing loss in the 19th century.


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