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!

Home Enter the Museum About Us Contact Us

FREE Subscription to:
Hearing Loss Help
The premier e-zine for people with hearing loss

Your email address
will never be
rented, traded or sold!

Your First Name:
Your E-mail:
Search this site:

 Results per
 page

 all words
 any words


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

 

Carbon Hearing Aids: 1931-1940

Gem Model 32 Carbon Hearing Aid

The Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid was manufactured by The Gem Ear Phone Co. of New York, NY around 1935.

This hearing aid weighed 13.2 oz. (374 g) with the battery and 5.7 oz. and (162 g) without the battery).
 

Click picture for larger view

 

Back Next

 
The Gem Model 32 could also be configured with a microphone-battery extension cord so the battery could be separate from the microphone. That way the microphone could be worn around the neck on a lanyard, while the heavy battery was carried in a pocket.

This hearing aid was a pretty basic unit consisting of a microphone and an earphone connected by a single cord (unless you were also using the battery extension cord).
 

Click picture for larger view

 
Front view of the microphone of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid. The microphone grill consisted of many small holes configured in the shape of a 6-pointed star. The microphone measured 2⅜" in diameter by 1" thick (6.0 x 2.6 cm).

Around the rim of the microphone are the words "The Gem Ear Phone Co. and "New York".

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Rear view of the microphone of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the fiber volume control (black thumb wheel in center). Notice the small hole at the 2 o'clock position showing the volume level (8 in this case). Volume ranged from 1 to 9.

At the top of the volume control is a hole for threading a cord through so you could hang the microphone around your neck if so desired.

Note the words "Made in U.S.A." just below the volume control wheel.

Click picture for larger view

 
Side view of the microphone of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the raised black fiber volume control wheel. It had a serrated edge for ease of turning.


 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid battery (left) and microphone (right). The pins are of slightly different size (the left pin is larger) so you could only plug them together the right way ensuring the correct polarity.

This hearing aid used a 3-volt carbon-zinc Gem 1A battery (left).


 

 
Close-up view of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the microphone plugged directly onto the battery terminals.

 

 

Click picture for larger vieww

 
Instead of plugging the microphone directly onto the battery terminals, you could use the 22¾" (57.5 cm) extension cord so the battery could be carried in a pocket.

In this case you'd have to wear the microphone around your neck to keep it relatively vertical so it would work. (Carbon microphones won't work when laying flat as the carbon shot can't touch both terminals at the same time when laying flat.)
 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the battery of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the battery pins and the female plug of the extension cord.


 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the battery of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the extension cord plugged onto the battery terminals.



 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the microphone of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the female microphone jacks and the male plug of the extension cord. The left pin and jack are larger than the right ones.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the microphone of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the extension cord plugged into the microphone jacks.



 

Click picture for larger view

 
Side view of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid. Notice that the prongs on the battery are set near the back (right side) instead of in the center of the top of the battery as was more common. This provided better stability for the hearing aid since the microphone was "front heavy". It also provided for a sleeker-looking hearing aid.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing how the two-pronged earphone cord plugged into the jack on the top of the microphone. Note that the upper pin and jack are smaller than the lower ones to prevent them from being plugged in backwards.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the earphone cord plugged into the top of the microphone.

Earlier models didn't have this plug. They were hardwired into the microphone so if the cord broke, you couldn't easily replace it.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Front view of the earphone of the Gem Model 2 carbon hearing aid.

The earphone measured 2 1/16" in diameter by 9/16" thick (5.3 x 1.4 cm)..
 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Rear view of the earphone of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the on-off switch at the top in the "off" position.

This earphone is stamped with the model number "Gem 32" (lower center).
 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the headband for the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid with the earphone snapped in place on the gimble bracket.
 


 

Click picture for larger view

 
Inside view of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid packed into its carrying case.


 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the inscription on the inside of the flap of the lid of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid carrying case. The inscription reads, "The Gem Earphone Co." and "New York".


 

Click picture for larger view

 
Rear view of the carrying case of the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid showing the cut-out for the microphone grill. Thus, you could sit this hearing aid on a table and use it that way with the microphone and battery all neatly hidden away, instead of wearing it around your neck.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Outside view of the carrying case for the Gem Model 32 carbon hearing aid. It was finished in black leatherette.

The case measured 7⅜" by 2 13/16" by 3" deep (18.8 x 7.2 x 7.7 cm).

 


 

Click picture for larger view

 

(If a larger picture doesn't appear, you may have to turn your pop-up blocker off)