Ear trumpet with flexible tube

Made:
1870-1920 in Unknown place and Europe

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Ear trumpet with flexible tube, usually known as a conversation tube

Flexible tube hearing aids were also known as ‘conversation tubes’. They amplified sound to help partially deaf people hear more clearly. They are a very basic hearing aid. The user could either listen to general conversation or the speaker talked directly into the trumpet end. Conversation tubes were not just for the hard of hearing. Puritan couples who were courting used them during the 1600s to have private conversations. Social customs of the day dictated they sit opposite each other across a table. The conversation tube allowed them a little intimacy and interaction.

Details

Category:
Audiology
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A32291
Materials:
earpiece, brass, trumpet, brass and tube, steel
Measurements:
bell: 45 mm x 40 mm
type:
ear trumpet