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

Zenith Model A2A "Radionic" Vacuum Tube Hearing Aid

The Zenith Model A2A "Radionic" vacuum tube hearing aid was manufactured by the Hearing Aid Division of the Zenith Radio Corporation of Chicago, IL beginning in October, 1942. This was Zenith's first wearable hearing aid. (The previous model was a table-top unit.)

The black plastic case measured 5⅛” by 2¾” by ⅞” thick, and weighed 7⅞ oz. without the batteries. (Zenith also made a pink plastic model as well.)

The microphone grill is the series of 9 horizontal slots (top center) behind the pocket clip. Notice the large "Z" on the lower front face.

This was a two-piece hearing aid as it connected to external batteries (battery cords bottom left). The magnetic receiver is at the bottom right.

The Zenith Model A2A used two vacuum tubes.

It was sold through drug stores and jewelry stores for $40.00.

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Top view of the Zenith Model A2A showing the 4-position (2, 3, 4 and the lever straight up for position 1) tone control (left), the large volume control wheel (center) and the on-off switch (right).


 

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Bottom view of the Zenith Model A2A showing the battery jack (left), and the receiver jack (right). The "butterfly" in the middle swivels 90 degrees to hold the plugs in place.

You couldn't accidentally put the plugs in the wrong sides because the "pins" were off center (see two below pictures).


 

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Close-up view of the Zenith Model A2A battery plug. The battery plug had the heavy battery wires attached to it.


 

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View of the box and replacement battery cord for the Zenith Model A2A.


 

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Close-up view of the Zenith Model A2A receiver plug. The receiver plug had the thin receiver cord attached to it.


 

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Close-up view of the Zenith Model A2A receivers and ear tips. The black receiver (top left), the clear plastic ear tip post (right of receiver) and the rubber ear tip (right of plastic post) all snapped together as shown with the pink receiver  and parts assembled (top right).

The Model A2A came with a variety of sizes of rubber ear tips (bottom left) and a variety of sizes of ear tip posts (bottom right).

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Close-up view of the Zenith Model A2A battery plugs. The 3-pronged plug went into the "B" battery (left) and the 2-pronged plug fit the "A" battery (right).


 

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View of the Zenith Model A2A hearing aid with both the "B" and "A" batteries attached. This whole assembly weighed a whopping 1½ pounds!

The Zenith Z-30 "B" battery (left) put out 45 volts, while the Zenith "A" battery (to the right of the "B" battery) put out the usual 1½ volts.

 

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Back view of the Zenith Model A2A hearing aid. The two slots (top center) are for the pocket clip. It could be attached to the front as shown in the top picture, or attached to the back via these slots.


 

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Close-up view of the back of the Zenith Model A2A showing the information engraved there. It reads, "ZENITH RADIO CORP. U.S.A.", "MODEL A2A" then gives the serial number and patent info.


 

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The Zenith Model A2A "Radionic" hearing aid in its original box.

 

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Top view of the Zenith Model A2A "Radionic" hearing aid's original box.


 


 

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