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.

 

Hearing Aid Batteries

Duracell No. 13 Zinc-Air Hearing Aid Battery

The Duracell No. 13 1.4 volt zinc-air hearing aid battery is pictured at the right.

The No. 13 hearing aid battery came out by 1962 with the advent of ever smaller behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.

Early No. 13 batteries were either silver-oxide or mercury batteries.

In the mid-1950s silicon transistors began to be used in hearing aids. These transistors needed the higher voltage (1.5 volts) that silver oxide batteries produced. However, high silver prices in the 1980s sounded the death-knell of the silver oxide battery, coupled with the fact that the more modern silicon transistors could run on the lower voltages supplied by the zinc-air batteries.

Zinc-air batteries began replacing the existing mercury and silver-oxide batteries in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mercury batteries are no longer sold today because of the mercury in them and the consequent environmental concerns.

The No. 13 zinc-air battery battery measured 0.305" in diameter by 0.208" thick.

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The bottom (positive end) of the No. 13 battery. Note the two tiny air holes (yellow dots at the ends of the "+" cross arms). An orange tab seals these holes keeping the air out until the battery is ready to be used. By doing this, zinc-air batteries have a long shelf life. When the tab is removed, the battery starts "working" and even if you don't use it, in a few weeks it will be dead.
 

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The Duracell zinc-air batteries typically came either 4 or 8 batteries to a pack. This is an 8-pack. Notice that No. 13 batteries have orange tabs on them, making it easy to identify them.

 

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Incidentally, Beltone gave their version of the No. 13 zinc-air battery, the non-standard designation of No. 26. It was identical in size and shape to the No. 13 and had the proper orange tab.

 

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Top view of the No. 13 zinc-air hearing aid battery showing its size. (Each mark on the ruler is 1/16".)

 

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Relative size of the five sizes of zinc-air hearing aid batteries as seen from the top. From left to right they are battery numbers 5, 10, 312, 13 and 675.

 

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A three-quarter view of the 5 zinc-air hearing aid batteries showing their relative size. From left to right they are battery numbers 5, 10, 312, 13 and 675.

 

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Side view of the 5 zinc-air hearing aid batteries showing their differences in height. From left to right they are battery numbers 5, 10, 312, 13 and 675.

 

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Bottom view of the 5 sizes of zinc-air batteries showing the color-coded tabs that seal the air holes before they are used. From left to right they are battery numbers 5 (red tab), 10 (yellow tab), 312 (brown tab), 13 (orange tab) and 675 (blue tab).

 


 

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