Happy Disability History Week! To celebrate this week, we will be highlighting the history of a few different AT devices.
Did you know hearing aids have been around for centuries?
|Hearing Aid "Trumpet"|
|Early 20th century hearing aids|
In 1938, electronic manufacturers in Chicago developed the first wearable hearing aid that consisted of a wire connecting a small earpiece to an amplifier-receiver that could be clipped onto the the wearer's clothes. Even further developments with this technology occurred in the 1950s when the transistor was invented. The invention of the transistor changed hearing aids completely. In fact, two years before transistor radios were popular, people were already using them in hearing aids. In 1953, more than 200,00 transistorized hearing aids were sold. In 1957, companies made the hearing aid even smaller and more concealable by putting all of the electronics entirely into a pair of eyeglasses! Finally, in the 1960s, Zenith Radio advertised the first completely behind the ear model of a hearing aid. It weighed just 7 grams was 500 times more reliable than the hearing aids built with transistors.
Over the years, hearing aids have shrunk drastically in size and have increased in their abilities to function for individuals. Many hearing aids now are virtually invisible and these important devices have helped people that are hard of hearing maintain their independence. Do you use a hearing aid? Tell us below in the comment box about what style works best for you.