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.

 

Conversation Tubes

E. B. Meyrowitz Model 2x Celluloid Conversation Tube

Although there are no manufacturer's marks on this celluloid conversation tube, it is very close in design to the No. 2D Otophone made by E. B. Meyrowitz, Co. Inc., of New York, NY. The Model 2D conversation tube came out in the years after its 1887 patent.

This conversation tube may be a Model 2E or higher number. (I'll refer to it here as the Model 2x.)

Meyrowitz' earlier conversation tubes were made of vulcanite, whereas this later model was made of false tortoiseshell (celluloid). It was probably made somewhere around 1900.

The overall length of this conversation tube is 45" (114 cm), although the tube itself is just 33½" (85 cm) long. Unlike many other conversation tubes, this tube was not tapered, but remained a constant ⅝" (1.6 cm) in diameter throughout it's length. It weighed 8.4 oz. (238 g).
 

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A second unusual feature of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube is the "earphone" and handle at the ear end rather than the common ear tip.

This view shows the front of the earphone and built-in handle assembly. The earphone was 2 1/16" (5.2 cm) in diameter. The length of the handle including earphone was 7⅝" (9.4 cm) long. The thickest part of the handle was ¾" (1.9 cm).

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Close-up view of the front of the earphone of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube showing the mother of pearl diaphragm. The diaphragm was fastened at the top (left side in the picture) and vibrated freely around the sides and bottom (right side in the picture).


 

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Side view of the earphone/handle assembly of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube. The overall thickness was 1½" (3.8 cm). The earphone thickness was ½" (1.3 cm).
 


 

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Rear view of the earphone/handle assembly of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube. All the various pieces were glued together.

 

 

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View of the back of the mouthpiece end of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube showing what looks like a regular bell when you can't see the cut-away on the front.

The bell measured 3⅜" (8.5 cm) long and was 2⅛" (5.2 cm)  in diameter.

 

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Close-up view of the front of the mouthpiece end of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube showing the cut-away design of the mouthpiece. This is the third unusual feature of this conversation tube. The cut-away part extended ⅞" (4.8 cm) from the upper rim.

 

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Close-up view of the mouthpiece of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube. When the back of the mouthpiece is backlit, the beautiful colors of the false tortoiseshell  (celluloid) show through.

 

 

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Side view of the bell-end of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube showing the cut-away so you could hold this conversation tube vertically at your mouth and yet readily capture your voice.

To use this conversation tube, you rested the bottom rim of the mouthpiece on your chin. This arrangement was unique to this  conversation tube (as far as I know).
 

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Close-up view of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube looking into the mouth of the bell showing the end of the tube at the back of the bell.

 


 

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Close-up of the tube of the Meyrowitz Model 2x celluloid conversation tube showing the woven fabric covering over the rubber inner tube that surrounded a coiled wire spring to keep the tube open at all times no matter how it was bent.

 

 

 

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