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Hearing aid, London, England, 1900-1940

Hearing aid, London, England, 1900-1940

Credits: Science Museum

Made from imitation tortoiseshell, this simple device would have fitted over the ear and been hidden under the hair. With the end inserted into the ear it acted like a mini ear trumpet, amplifying sounds to help people who were partially deaf to hear more clearly. (The effect would be similar to cupping your hand over your ear.) The device was made by Hawksley, a medical instrument maker based in London.

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Glossary: deafness

A condition where the hearing in both ears in not functional to ordinary levels.

Glossary: hearing aid

A small electronic apparatus that amplifies sound and is worn in or behind the ear to compensate for impaired hearing.