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 "Shelle" 6 Carbon Hearing Aid

The Ardente "Shelle" 6 was 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 around 1936.

The Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid was still being sold as late as 1942. At that time, it sold for 18 pounds, 18 shillings (see Ardente invoice).

 

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Back

 
Front view of a the Ardente "Shelle" 6  microphone. This microphone was made of a beautiful faux tortoiseshell (early plastic).

This carbon microphone was 2½" in diameter and 1" thick (6.4 x 2.5 cm). It used carbon shot. (When you shake it, you can hear the shot rattle.) It weighed 3.0 oz. (86 g).

The central microphone grill consisted of many small holes in the shape of a 6-pointed star.

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Rear view of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon microphone showing the 5-step volume control.

At the top of the mic is a ring to thread a lanyard through so you could wear it around your neck if you so desired.

 

 

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


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Close-up view of the plugs of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 as they look when plugged together.

 


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Three-quarter view of the top and side of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid microphone showing the unusual microphone grill arrangement. Not only did the sound enter via the holes in the 6-pointed star in the center of the microphone, it also entered by the 32 larger holes around the periphery of the microphone.

The inscription around the periphery of the microphone reads, "Mr. R. H. Dent's Ardente  309 Oxford St. London.  W. 1."

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Some of the Ardente carbon hearing aids had a rather unusual logo at the bottom front of the microphone—a head engraved into the microphone surface.


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Side view of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon microphone.

 


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End view of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon microphone showing the two battery jacks. The microphone plugged directly into the two pins on top of the battery.

This hearing aid took a No. 22 3-volt carbon-zinc battery which cost 5 shillings, 7½ pence for three batteries back in 1942 (see battery invoice).

The battery would have looked much like the Gem 1A carbon hearing aid battery, but had a slightly different pin spacing.

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Front view of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid earphone.  This earphone measured 2⅛" in diameter x 11/16" thick (5.4 x 1.7 cm). It felt  unusually heavy for its size, weighing 3.0 oz. (86 g).


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Rear view of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid earphone showing the on/off switch (top center) in the off position. On is up and off is down.

 


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Side view of the Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid earphone one of the two small holes on each side of the earphone for the headphone band (bottom center).


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The Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid earphone attached to the headband. The headband folded up for storage. Note the hinge at the top of the headband (10 o'clock position).

 


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The Ardente "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid in its storage case.

 

 

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Close-up of the name and address on the inside of the lid of the Ardente Model C5 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 "Shelle" 6 carbon hearing aid. The case measured 10¼" x 3⅜" x 2" deep (26.3 x 8.5 x 5.0 cm).

There is complete provenance for this hearing aid from the time a Mr. E. Williams was contacted by Ardente (see the original letter) on August 21, 1942 about getting a hearing aid until it was ultimately donated to the Hearing Aid Museum by Elaine Price (see letter).

 

 

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