A wonderful antique telescopic celluloid listening device from the early 20th century.
This great antique hearing aid has been designed to mimic tortoiseshell and is made from early celluloid. It has three sections and collapses for ease of carrying. There is no maker’s mark, but this looks very similar to a design by the French company, Audios Marque Deposee.
Ear trumpets were used by the hard of hearing from the early 17th century. Early devices were similar in design to this, with a large opening at one end concentrating the sound to a smaller end. Early types were made from animal horn and later, metal. However, by the turn of the 20th century, hearing aids had become much smaller and started to be attached to head pieces.
This type of hearing aid works, not by amplifying sound in any way, but by concentrating sound into a smaller space.
This fascinating object measures approx. 38cm when extended and collapses to 23cm. The large opening measures 10cm in diameter. There is a crack to the larger end and some opening of the original seam. There is a brass edging on the inside of the larger piece where it meets the next smallest part. The mouth-piece which is made from black Bakelite, is in good condition.
What a wonderful prop for the theatre, or just an interesting curio for display in the home.