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.

 

Body Type Transistor Hearing Aids

Beltone Model OP "Operetta"  Transistor (Tie Clip) Hearing Aid

The Beltone Model OP "Operetta" was produced by the Beltone Electronics Corp. of Chicago, IL in 1955.

The tiny Operetta measured  just 2 3/16” by 1” by 1” (including the external microphone) and weighed 1˝ oz with the battery. It used 3 transistors. (Notice the size of the hearing aid itself in comparison to the receiver.)

The case was chrome front and back over a black plastic chassis—visible on all sides.

This hearing aid was unusual in that it was designed to be worn as a tie-clip.

 

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Top view of the Beltone Model OP showing the volume control/on-off switch in the top right corner of the hearing aid (left corner in the picture).

 

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The attractive external rectangular microphone sat on top of the tie clip itself. The grill and tie clip were gold colored. The black line (extreme right) on the tie clip is actually a black wire running to the microphone. It was set in a groove in the tie clip.

With this design, the hearing aid itself was hidden behind the tie, but the microphone wasn't covered so likely picked up sounds better than previous models like the Allegro, for example.
 

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Left side view of the Model OP showing the receiver cord jack (center). The square hole just below the jack was for a protrusion on the receiver cord plug so it couldn't be plugged in wrong.

The receiver cord ran up under the shirt and came out at the neck below the ear. So all that was visible to indicate the person was wearing a hearing aid was the button receiver in the person's ear.
 

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Right side view of the Model OP showing the 2-position tone control (center).

 

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Rear view of the Model OP showing the make and model engraved in the case "Beltone Model OP".

Note the green dot on the right side above the hinge.

 

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View of the battery compartment of the Beltone Model OP. The battery compartment door is hinged at the top and swings upward.

This hearing aid took either a mercury No. 625 battery (shown) or a No. 630.
 

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The Beltone Model OP "Operetta" in its original case.

 

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Outside view of the original case of the Beltone Model OP.

 


 

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