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

Western Electric Model 64 (a.k.a. Model 134-B) Vacuum Tube Hearing Aid

The Western Electric Model 64 (also known as the Model 134-B) hearing aid was made by the Western Electric Co. of Kearny, New Jersey.

The Model 64 was a 3-vacuum tube hearing aid. It was the last of the 2-piece hearing aids produced by Western Electric. Its dimensions were 4¼" x 2¼" x ⅞". It weighed 5¼ oz. without batteries, wires and receiver.
 

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The Model 64 came out in June, 1946. It was a slight modification of the Model 134, and should have been known as Model 134-B. However, at that time, Western Electric was changing their numbering system over to numbers in the mid-60s, so this model had the dual model designation. Subsequent models were designated Model 65 and higher.

As you can see, Western Electric didn't bother to change the model number on the lower back of the case. It remained Model 134—no doubt confusing people.
 

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Top view of the Western Electric Model 64 showing the on-off/tone control (left), the receiver jack (center) and the volume control (right).

The tone control has 3 positions 1, 2 and 3 dots. The 3-dot position gives full range of tones. The 2-dot position moderately suppresses low-frequency sounds, and the 1-dot position gives maximum suppression of low frequency sounds.
 

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Close-up view of the Western Electric Model 64 microphone grill. On each side are the chrome pocket clips.

 

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Bottom view of the Western Electric Model 64 hearing aid showing the double plug socket—the 3 prongs in the upper row for the batteries and the 2 prongs in the lower row for the receiver.

 

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Bottom view showing the double plugs in place—the receiver cord to the left and the batter cord to the right.

 

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This double plug was an ingenious arrangement. It came it two halves that fit together. The receiver plug half to the left and the battery plug half to the right. Notice that the receiver half has a raised rectangle that fits into the battery half to hold them in the proper alignment for plugging them into the socket.

 

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The two plug halves fitted together and ready to be plugged in. (You have to physically hold these halves together as you plug them into the socket.)

 

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Top view of the battery plugs showing the "B" battery plug (left) and the "A" battery plug (right).

 

 

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Side view of the Western Electric Model 64 battery plugs showing the 3-pronged "B" battery plug (left) and the 2-pronged "A" battery plug (right).

The Model 64 used a Burgess 8R 1½ volt "A" battery and a Burgess XX30E 45 volt "B" battery, although any batteries that fit the voltage and pin requirements would work. For example, the Eveready 1052P "A" battery and the Eveready 455-P "B" battery were equivalent to the Burgess batteries.

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The Western Electric Model 64 (Model 134-B) hearing aid in its original case, but this case had a little surprise in store (see below pictures).

 

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The Western Electric Model 64 case as seen from the top. You wouldn't guess that all the wires, plug and receiver are elegantly stored in a hidden compartment below.
 

 

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When you pulled out the blue velvet bottom of the case and turned it over, here is what you find. The wires are neatly wrapped around the large central "spool" and the battery plugs neatly store in special sockets (top left) and the receiver snaps into its socket (bottom right).

 

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End view of the blue velvet bottom showing the battery plugs (right) and receiver storage (left).

 

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Outside view of the original Western Electric Model 64 hearing aid case.

 

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An "Important" instructional notice enclosed with the Western Electric Model 64 hearing aid.

Also, there was a 4-page instruction guide included with the Western Electric Model 64 hearing aid. Click here to read this guide.

 


 

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