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.

 

Conversation Tubes

Hard Rubber Conversation Tube

This conversation tube would appear to be the most common type that I have seen. It is 42 inches long and has a bell opening of 2 inches. It has a black mohair spiral cover.

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Here is another hard rubber conversation tube. It is 38½" long (tip to tip). The woven tube gradually tapers from about ⅞" (outside diameter) at the bell to ½" at the earpiece. It fabric now appears black. The bell is the same size as the below conversation tube.

Interestingly enough, the lining inside the tube of this conversation tube has deteriorated such that if you blow through it and plug the opposite end, there is no back pressure—all the air escapes through the fabric. As a result, it doesn't conduct sound either, and is only good for display purposes. In contrast, the conversation tube below works just as well now as it did the day it was made.
 

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Here is yet another conversation tube. It is 39" long (tip to tip). The woven tube gradually tapers from about ⅞" (outside diameter) at the bell to ½" at the earpiece.


 

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A close-up view of the earpiece. The hole in the end is 1/8" in diameter. The hard earpiece is just under 4" long.

 

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A close-up of the "bell" or mouthpiece of the conversation tube. The opening in this bell is 2¼". The bell is 3⅝" long.


 

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This conversation tube, which was made in the 1880s, was still being made 20 years later as it was listed in the 1902 and 1908 editions of the Sears-Roebuck catalogue. It would have cost $1.65 in 1902, but only $1.40 in 1908.

Ad from the 1902 Sears Roebuck catalogue. Prices ranged from $1.40 to $1.89 depending on the quality.


 

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Ad from the 1908 Sears Roebuck catalogue. Prices had dropped slightly from the 1902 catalogue and now ranged from $1.30 to $1.75 depending on the quality.

 

 


 

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