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

Pilling Audiclare Conversation Tube

The Audiclare conversation tube with a diaphragm earpiece was manufactured by George P. Pilling & Son of Philadelphia, PA in 1898 or 1899.

The overall length of the Pilling Audiclare was 37½" (95.3 cm). This conversation tube was quite heavy—weighing in at 13.8 oz. (392 g).

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Front view of the handle of the Pilling Audiclare. The handle (from its base to the tip of the earpiece) was 9½" (23.6 cm) long.

 


 

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Rear view of the Pilling Audiclare handle and earpiece.


 

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Close-up of the front of the earpiece. The earpiece was 2⅛" (5.4 cm) in diameter. It was unusual to have diaphragm earpieces on conversation tubes such as this Pilling Audiclare. Most had an eartip that went into the ear canal.


 

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Side view of the Audiclare earpiece. Notice the brace below the ear tube to stiffen the earpiece so it didn't flop around when held against the ear.

 


 

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Rear view of the Pilling Audiclare earpiece.


 

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Upper rear view of the Pilling Audiclare earpiece showing the model—"Audiclare". Below that it reads, "Trade-mark reg'd." And below that is the name "Bowles". Robert C. M. Bowles was the man who invented the Audiclare and filed the patent papers for it.


 

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Rear view of the Pilling Audiclare earpiece showing the patent information on the lower half.

It reads, "Pat. Feb 22-98. Pat's Pending" Below it is engraved, "G. P. Pilling & Son. Phila[delphia]." and "Sole m'f'rs [manufacturers].

The patent still pending at this time was filed on June 28, 1898, and the patent was issued on June 13, 1899.

Since this conversation tube shows that the this patent is still pending, it obviously was made in the latter part of 1898 or in the first half of 1899.
 

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Close-up of the hard rubber bell. The bell is 3 5/16" long and is 2½" in diameter (84 x 63 cm).

The sulfur in the hard rubber oxidizes with age giving the bell the yellowish-brown patina. (When it was new the bell would have been dark brown to black.)


 

 

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