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.

 

Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids: 1921-1953

Acousticon A-180 [Mod] "Golden Jubilee" Vacuum Tube Hearing Aid

The Acousticon A-180 [Mod] "Golden Jubilee" vacuum tube hearing aid was produced by Dictograph Products, Inc. of New York in 1952.

The Acousticon A-180 hearing aid measured 2½" x 1¾" x 15/16” (6.4 x 4.5 x 2.35 cm)  and weighed 2.2 oz. (66 g) without the batteries.

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Back

 
Front view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] hearing aid showing its attractive gold-colored case with vertical stripes over a dark brown chassis. The Acousticon crown on a blue background was inset in the bottom right corner.

 

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View of the back of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] showing the large swing-up battery door that covered about 2/3 of the back.

 

 

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Inside view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] vacuum tube hearing aid showing the three miniature tubes it used.

It used 1 Raytheon CK542DX tube (top) and 2 Raytheon CK549DX tubes (mid and lower).

 

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There were actually two versions of the Acousticon A-180—the original version, and a modified version.

The Acousticon A-180 [Mod] (left) and the original A-180 (right) had two obvious differences on the front. First, the A-180 [Mod] had the pocket clips on the front, whereas the A-180 had them on the sides. Second, the crown logo of the A-180 [Mod] (bottom right corner) had a blue background (left), whereas the original A-180 had a black background (right).

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Bottom view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] vacuum tube hearing aid showing the push button and thumb notch to open the battery door.

 

 

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Top view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] showing the microphone grill (left), the receiver cord jack (center) and the volume control/on-off switch (right).

Note: the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] did not have provision for an external microphone like the original A-180 did.
 

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Bottom view of the Acousticon A-180 (left) and the A-180 [Mod] (right) showing the difference in thickness between them. The A-180 at 7/8" was 1/16" less than the A-180 [Mod] at 15/16".

 

 

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View of the inside of the battery compartment showing the batteries in place.

The Acousticon A-180 [Mod], like all vacuum tube hearing aids, took two batteries. The "A" battery (top right) was a 1.4 volt Mallory RM-1 mercury battery (or equivalent). The "B" battery (bottom) was a 15 volt Eveready 504E or equivalent.

To the left of the "A" battery is a gold-colored plate showing the Acousticon logo and below that the model number, "Mod A-180" and below that in smaller lettering, "Pats. Pending" and "Made in U.S.A.".

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Note the spring clip above the "A" battery of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] vacuum tube hearing aid. This clip served two purposes. First, it held the battery compartment door open, but more importantly, it provided the electrical connection to the positive terminal of the battery when the door was closed. The yellow plastic sheet glued to the inside of the battery door insulated the clip from the metal case.
 

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The serial number (836H3) is stamped into the bottom right side of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] vacuum tube hearing aid.

 

 

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Close-up view of the top left corner on the back of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] showing the off and on positions for the volume control wheel.


 

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Top view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] showing the receiver cord unplugged.

The receiver cord plug was unusual in shape and function as it also doubled as convenient knob for turning the noise suppressor on or off.

 

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Top view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] "Golden Jubilee" vacuum tube hearing aid showing the "wing" on the knob pointing away from the white dot. In this position the noise suppressor is turned off.

This is the normal position.

 

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Top view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] "Golden Jubilee" vacuum tube hearing aid showing the receiver cord plugged into the receiver jack.

The plug has two positions. When the "wing" on the knob is pointing to the white dot, the noise suppressor is on.

According to the manual, "The noise suppressor should be used in noisy surroundings such as restaurants, on noisy streets, in the vicinity of noisy machinery, etc.

You will find that in noisy surroundings, people unconsciously raise their voices in an effort to be heard above the noise. These loud sounds may at times overtax the vacuum tubes inside your transmitter and cause the noise and speech to blend, making it difficult to understand the speech.

By turning the noise suppressor knob to the left,—noise and speech are brought to your ear in normal proportions."

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Rear view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] receiver showing the receiver cord plugged into the receiver.

 

 

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End view of the Acousticon A-180 [Mod] receiver plug and jack.  Notice that flat pins on the plug—a distinguishing feature of Acousticon aids at that time.

 

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The receiver (left) and the hard plastic ear mold (right).

 

 

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The ear mold snapped to the nubbin in the center of the receiver.

 

 


 

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View of the front cover of the Instruction Manual for the Acousticon A-180 "Golden Jubilee" vacuum tube hearing aid.

Read the Instruction Manual.

Also, read the included article, "Learning to Hear Again".

 

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The Acousticon A-180 [Mod] vacuum tube hearing aid in its two-tiered case.

 


 

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Outside view of the attractive Acousticon A-180 [Mod] vacuum tube hearing aid case.

This case measured 7⅜" x 5⅜" x 3¼" (18.7 x 13.7 x 8.3 cm).

 

 


 

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