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!

Home Enter the Museum About Us Contact Us

FREE Subscription to:
Hearing Loss Help
The premier e-zine for people with hearing loss

Your email address
will never be
rented, traded or sold!

Your First Name:
Your E-mail:
Search this site:

 Results per
 page

 all words
 any words


Click on the "General Information" button (top button above) for an overview and general information on this category of hearing aid.

 

Eyeglass Style Transistor Hearing Aids: 1954-1990

Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" Eyeglass Hearing Aid

The Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid was manufactured by the Radioear Corporation of Pennsylvania in 1956.

It weighed a hefty 3.0 oz. (86 g) without the battery.

Click picture for larger view

 

Next

 

Radioear hired Peter Muller-Munk (1904-1967), a young German silversmith, formerly of Tiffany & Co. and now an industrial designer, to come up with a modern design for eyeglass hearing aids. (Radioear was one of Peter's early clients.)


Click picture for larger view

 
The result of Muller-Munk's efforts was the distinctive and unique Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid.

It was distinctive in that these hearing aid glasses had all the electronics in modules behind the ears. Thus, from the front and sides they looked like normal eyeglasses, not the heavy-framed hearing aid eyeglasses that were common at the time.

These eyeglass hearing aids were unique in that the modules could be unplugged from the end of each temple-piece and plugged into each other to become a barrette or body-worn hearing aid. (As far as I know, the only hearing aid to do so.)

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the ends of the temple pieces of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing how the modules unplugged from each temple piece and then could be plugged into each other.

The piece at the left is the "trim" and pocket clip combined that fit between the two modules.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Another view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid (right) with an exploded view of a separate "Lady America" body hearing aid showing that the modules are identical.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid (right) and a  "put together" "Lady America" body style hearing aid comprised of the same basic two modules.

This picture shows the pocket-clip version. Apparently there was another trim piece with a barrette clip instead of the pocket-clip so the ladies could wear this hearing aid hidden in their hair.
 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the "put together" Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" body-worn hearing aid. This was also  sold as a separate hearing aid and is shown in the museum as the Model 840 "Lady America" body-style hearing aid.

 


Click picture for larger view

 
Side view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid.

Because the microphone was on the far side and the receiver on the near side, effectively this was a CROS (Contralateral Routing Of Signal) hearing aid where the sound was picked up on the opposite side of your hear to where you heard it.

Click picture for larger view

 

Rear view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing it with the arms folded.

 

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
In order to connect the two modules, a wire ran from the back of one temple-piece around the front of the eyeglasses to the back of the other temple-piece.

Shown here in the wire running along the back side of the top of the eyeglasses. It was held in place by 4 plastic clips.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
The wire stretched across the bridge of the eyeglasses (right) and continued along the top of the frame to the other temple-piece.

 

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 

Close-up view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing how the wire ran from the top of the frame, bypassed the hinge, and disappeared into a hole in the hollow temple-piece.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the module (right) unplugged from the left temple-piece.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the module (left) unplugged from the right temple-piece.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
With this design arrangement, you could configure the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid to work for either ear. Here the modules are configured for use with the left ear.

Notice that there is a white dot just below the bottom jack on each of the modules. You had the modules plugged in correctly when both dots were at the bottom (as shown) for the left ear arrangement.

Click picture for larger view

 
Swapping the modules converts this hearing aid for use with the right ear.

Notice that now both dots on the modules are at the top showing they are correctly configured for use with the right ear.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the bottom of the "microphone" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the rectangular microphone grill.

The "microphone" module measured 1 1/16" x 1⅜" x ½" (2.7 x 3.4 x 1.2 cm). It was ¼" shorter than the "receiver" module but it was not easy to tell the difference with a casual glance.

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the "receiver" module.

This module contained the electronics, the battery and the volume control wheel (top right). The receiver (bottom left) plugged into this module via a short 3" (8 cm) cord.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the plug end of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the name (Radioear) and below it the serial number (2F26).

Note the white dot to the left of the right jack—necessary for correct orientation of plugs.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the empty battery compartment.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the opened battery compartment with a  No. 625 battery in it.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the battery compartment door half closed.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the battery compartment door completely shut (bottom right).

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
View of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the volume control wheel/on-off switch (bottom left). On the center of the side is the two-hole jack for the receiver cord plug.

Note that this hearing aid had no other controls apart from the volume control. It had no tone control  or telecoil switch, for example.

The receiver" module measured 1 5/16" x 1⅜" x ½" (3.3 x 3.4 x 1.2 cm).

Click picture for larger view

 
Close-up view of the of the "receiver" module of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the receiver cord unplugged.

If you look closely, you can see the black dot on the top of the plug lines up with the white dot on the body of the hearing aid showing it is being plugged in the right way.

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Side view of the receiver showing the receiver cord plug and receiver jack of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Top view of the the receiver of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid showing the receiver cord plugged in.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 
Side view of the of the receiver and hard plastic ear mold of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid here shown snapped together.

 

 

Click picture for larger view

 

View of the receiver and hard plastic ear mold of the Radioear Model 840 "Lady America" eyeglass hearing aid. The ear mold snaps onto the nubbin in the center of the receiver.

 

 


 

Click picture for larger view

 

(If a larger picture doesn't appear, you may have to turn your pop-up blocker off)