Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

The Hearing Aid Museum

Hearing Aids of all types—Ear Trumpets, Carbon Hearing Aids, Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids, Transistor Hearing Aids, Body Hearing Aids, Eyeglass Hearing Aids and much more!

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Click on the "General Information" button (top button above) for an overview and general information on this category of hearing aid.

 

Carbon Hearing Aids: 1900-1939

Ardente "Phantom" Carbon Hearing Aid

The Ardente "Phantom" ? appears to have been the first hearing aid manufactured by Ardente Acoustic Laboratories, Ltd. of London, England. Mr. R. H. Dent, the founder, used his name prominently on many of his hearing aids along with the Ardente trade name. It was manufactured in 1930.

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Front view of the Ardente "Phantom" carbon dust microphone. Around the edge of the microphone is inscribed "Mr. R. H. Dent's Ardente  309 Oxford St.  London W. 1."

Notice the "head" trademark Dent used (at the 5 o'clock position).

The two pins on the battery case pushed into the two jacks on the bottom of the microphone case.

The microphone was 2¼" in diameter and ⅝" thick.

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Rear view of the Ardente "Phantom" microphone.

The hole at the top was to thread a lanyard through so you could wear this hearing aid around your neck.

 

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Rear view of the Ardente "Phantom" battery case. Engraved in the center are the words "309 Oxford St./"Ardente"/London W. 1."

 


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View of the Ardente "Phantom" battery case in the open position. This battery case was unusual in two respects. First, the whole back swung open from the right side. Most carbon hearing aids of similar style inserted the battery from the bottom. Second, the battery case was made of black plastic, rather than the usual tin.


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The reason the battery compartment door had to open fully was because the Ardente "Phantom" used a rather unusual battery configuration. The "pins" on the battery pushed into the slots (top center and left side).

The battery shown here, the Ardente No. 44 battery, is the right size and shape, but the pins are in the wrong position.


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Pictured here is the correct battery for this hearing aid, the Ardente No. 22 battery. Notice that the pins are on the left and center and will fit through the slots near the top of the battery case. Apart from the pin arrangement, these batteries are the same size and shape.


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Rear view of the above Ardente No. 99 battery showing the 99 crossed out and over-stamped with the number 22 (bottom center).

 


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Front view of the Ardente "Phantom" earphone. The earphone measured 2¼" in diameter x ¾" thick. It was unusually heavy, weighing in at a hefty 4¼ oz.

 


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Rear view of the Ardente "Phantom" earphone showing the on/off switch in the 'ON" position

The serial number  (30323) is at the bottom center.


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The Ardente "Phantom" came with an earphone/headband shown assembled here.

 


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The headband folded up as shown when stored in the Ardente case.

 


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Ardente used this rather interesting plug configuration—one pin and one jack on each plug. This plug joined the earphone cord to the microphone.

 


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In addition to the earphone and headband, the Ardente "Phantom" also came with a more discrete receiver and wire ear hook to help hold it in place.

 


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Rear view of the Ardente "Phantom" receiver showing the on/off switch (top center). "On" was up and "off" down.

 


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Early receivers came with stock ear molds. The ear mold screwed to a post on the receiver so it could easily be replaced with one of a different size.

 


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The Ardente "Phantom" in its storage case.

 

 

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Close-up of the name and address on the inside of the lid of the storage case. It reads, "Mr. R. H. Dents Ardente for Deaf Ears  309 Oxford St  London W. 1. and Branches".
 

 

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The carrying/storage case for the Ardente "Phantom". The case measured 10½" x 3¼" x 2" deep.

 

 

 

 

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