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

Western Electric Model 37A (Audiphone) Carbon Hearing Aid

The Western Electric Model 37A carbon hearing aid was manufactured by the Western Electric Company of Kearny, NJ in 1932.

It consisted of three parts, a 616C carbon microphone, a 66B carbon (mechanical) amplifier and a 584A miniature receiver.

Batteries were contained in a separate battery case (not shown). The operating voltage was typically 4½ volts, although it could operate on 3 volts at reduced volume.

The components together were quite heavy and weighed 8.8 oz. (250 g).

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Front view of the Model 66B carbon amplifier Western Electric Model 37A (Audiphone) carbon hearing aid. It measured 3 5/16” by 2⅛” by ¾” (8.4 x 5.4 x 1.9 cm). It would have been carried in a pocket along with the separate battery case.


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Top view of the Model 66B carbon amplifier of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid showing the on-off switch/volume control rheostat (bottom center).

 

 

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View of the inside of the top cover of the Model 66B carbon amplifier showing the label pasted there. This label shows the manufacturer (Western Electric), the Model number of this amplifier (66B) and 8 patent numbers pertaining to this amplifier.

 

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Internal view of the Model 66B carbon amplifier. The on-off switch mechanism is at the top and the round carbon amplifier at the bottom.

 

 

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Close-up view of the actual carbon amplifier of the Model 66B carbon amplifier assembly. Note that the carbon amplifier itself is Model 65A.

 

 

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Front view of the Model 616C carbon microphone used in the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid. showing the microphone grill pattern.

The microphone case is all metal, making this microphone quite heavy for its size at 2.4 oz. (70 g). It measured 2⅜” in diameter by 9/16" thick (6.1 x 1.5 cm).

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Rear view of the Model 616C microphone of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid showing the pocket clip at the top.

 

 

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Close-up view of the pocket clip of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid microphone showing the model number (616 C) on the pocket clip.

 

 

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Close-up view of the battery cord plug of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid. This could plug into a battery box (not shown), or directly into the top of a battery such as this Sonotone 3 volt No. X42 battery although it normally operated using a 4½ volt battery.

 

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Schematic of the Western Electric Model 37A carbon hearing aid.

 

 

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Close-up view of the receiver cord plugs of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid showing the rather unusual arrangement of having one male and one female plug on each part, rather than the more usual arrangement of having the male plugs on one part and the female jacks on the other.

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Close-up view of the receiver cord plugs of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid showing them plugged together.

These plugs made it easy to change receivers if the need should arise, or plug in an earphone instead of a receiver if the wearer wanted to.

 

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Rear view of the receiver of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid. Embossed are the words "Western Electric", "584A", "Made in USA", "Patented, see numbers inside".

 

 

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Side view of the Model 584A miniature receiver of the Western Electric Model 37-A carbon hearing aid (left) with a custom ear mold attached (right).

 

 


 

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