Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

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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.

 

Quack Hearing Devices

Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator)

The Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) was manufactured by Ardente Acoustic Laboratories, Ltd. of London, England around 1930.

The Ardente name came from the name of R. H. Dent, the founder. He used the sound of his first initial "R", his last name "Dent" and the French "e" on the end to give it flair.

The Aurashelle was really a "quack" device as its use wasn't based on sound science. As a result in probably did far more damage than producing useful results.

It was made for the use of physicians and not as a home treatment for hearing loss.

With the battery installed, the Aurashelle weighed 7.9 oz. (224 g), and 4.9 oz. (140 g) without the battery.
 

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Front view of the earpiece of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator). It was used to treat deafness by creating a loud sound vibration (buzzing) through the earphone held against the patient’s ear.

The intent seems to have been to cause severe vibration to the eardrum and consequently the tiny bones in the middle ear as a means of loosening up the middle ear to improve hearing. This might have worked in some cases of conductive loss (e.g. otosclerosis), but the loud buzzing was enough to cause sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus.

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Rear view of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) showing the model name "Aurashelle" (top) and the 4 position loudness control. The left position (shown) is the "off" position.

The "earphone" was 2 5/16" in diameter and 1 7/16" thick (5.8 x 3.6 cm).
 

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Close-up rear view of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) showing the "Off, 1, 2, 3, 4" positions. (Shown here in the loudest position.)

Just below the center screw are the words, "Reg'd. Trade Mark" and "British Made".

 

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View of the inside of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) showing the vibrator mechanism—two electromagnets (top) to produce a loud buzzing sound.

 

 

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View of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) with the 3-volt Ardente No. 44 battery that fit into the battery compartment.

 

 

 

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View of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) with the battery compartment pulled off revealing the battery terminals (left) and the terminal sockets they fit into (center). Note that the left terminal and socket are smaller than the ones on the right to preserve proper polarity.

The small (left) pin is the positive terminal.

 

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View of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) with the battery plugged into the earpiece.

 

 

 

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Once the battery was plugged in, the battery compartment slid over the battery.

 

 

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View of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) showing how the spring clips on each side of the battery compartment snapped over the flange on the earpiece to hold them firmly together.

To get them apart, you firmly pulled the battery compartment away from the earpiece.

 

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Rear view of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) showing the "nameplate" in the center of the battery compartment.

The overall height of the Aurashelle was 5 11/16" (14.5 cm). The battery compartment measured 3 1/16" x 2" x 1 1/16" (7.7 x 5.1 x 2.7 cm).

 

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Close-up view of the  "name plate" on the rear of the battery compartment of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator). It reads, "R. H. Dent" and "309, Oxford St., London, W. 1."

 

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View of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) in its original case along with its battery.

 

 

 

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Close-up view of the inside of the lid of the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) case. The gold embossing reads, "Mr. R. H. Dent's Ardente for Deaf Ears" and "309 Oxford St., London W.1. and Branches".

 

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Outside view of the case the Ardente "Aurashelle" Ear Treatment Device (Ear Vibrator) came in. The case measured 6" x 2⅞" x 2 7/16" (15.4 x 7.3 x 6.3 cm).

 

 

 

 

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