These also can be properly called electronic hearing aids. They appeared in a few models in late 1952 and virtually replaced vacuum tube hearing aids by the end of 1953. Transistors need only one battery. Therefore, the reduced size permitted development of a number of types of hearing aids.
1.) CIC (Completely-in-canal)
2.) ITC (In-the-canal)
3.) ITE (In-the-ear)
4.) BTE (Behind-the-ear)
The body aid, or pocket aid, continued to be popular, especially for those with severe loss, and could now be made smaller than vacuum tube versions.
Beltone Triumph 6, made in 1961. This is sub-model "OM" with an outside microphone. It contains 6 transistors and uses a TEL 401 battery.
Primo PH-3K, made in 1959 in Japan. Came unassembled with directions for completing the circuit! Contains 3 transistors. Uses a 1015 battery and measures 2 5/16" x 2 1/4" x 15/16".
Eyeglass hearing aids attained considerable popularity, particularly after Eleanor Roosevelt allowed her name and photograph to be used wearing one.
Beltone "Slimette" eyeglass hearing aid. Air conduction receiver. Contains 3 transistors and uses #400 battery. Made in 1957.
Dahlberg D-14 Solar-Ear
Dahlberg D-14 eyeglass hearing aid, also called the "Solar-Ear". Introduced in May, 1958. Air conduction receiver. Uses a #625 battery, and is sun-powered. You can see the solar cell as the slender rectangle on the top of the temple piece.
Behind-the-ear or over-the-ear models were a huge improvement in cosmetic appeal over body or eyeglass hearing aids and are still the aid of choice for those with severe to profound loss.
This is an example of the technology that goes into a BTE hearing aid.
In-The-Ear models come in several versions: stock or non-custom models, custom concha models, half shell models, and canal aids. The most recent development is the completely-in-the-canal aid. Today, body and eyeglass aids account for less than 1% of hearing aid sales in the United States.
ITE Hearing Aid Examples
ITE, or In-The-Ear, hearing aids were a major advance in the cosmetics of hearing aids. Most were an inch or less in size. While they were much smaller, they were still somewhat difficult to wear and often stuck out of the ear due to their boxy shape. They are the ancestor to custom ITE products, which fit much more closely in the ear.
This is possibly the first "at the ear" hearing aid. Notice that while it is a custom product, it will still protrude from the ear. Uses a 400 battery. Made in August, 1955.
Dahlberg D-10 Miracle Ear
The first "in-the-ear" hearing aid, made in 1955. Contains 3 transistors and uses a #400 battery. The aid snapped onto a custom earmold. Measures 4.0 x 1.8 x 1.6 cm and weighs only 15 grams.
Earmaster 550 Golden
Custom in-the-ear hearing aid with a hypoallergenic gold casing. This gold casing is still used today in cases of extreme sensitivity to plastics. Made in 1965. Contains an integrated circuit. Uses a #312 battery and weighs only 0.25 oz.
Starkey Tympanette, 1993. This hearing aid, about the size on a nickel, fits entirely within the ear canal, thus it is called a completely-in-the-canal aid (CIC). The plastic line with the bulb on the end is used for removal.
Of course, there are also those hearing aids that have their own, unique style!
Headband styled hearing aid. The microphone and amplifier are on top of the head with a standard receiver and cord. Made in Germany, 1956.
Globe L - Lorgnette-Phone
Globe "L". Lorgnette-Phone. Hand-held hearing aid. Resembles a judge's gavel. Earphone (receiver) on one side and microphone on the other side of the head of this piece. Battery fit into bottom of the handle, and there was a tone control on the bottom of the handle. Made about 1915.
This item is an unusual example of one way to disguise a bone conduction hearing aid receiver. It is a headband covered with a braid of human hair.
Geas 27 "Pedientes". Earring styled hearing aids. Ideal for the fashionable lady! Simply clip onto the earlobe and place receiver piece (not shown) into ear. Contain 3 transistors each and measures 2.7 cm in diameter by 1.7 cm thick. Uses a #13 battery. Made about 1970 in Barcelona, Spain.
Ingelen Fountain Pen
Ingelen 420 K. "Fountain pen" styled hearing aid. Ideal for gentlemen hearing aid wearers! Simply clip in the pocket, or hold in the hand. The pen portion contains the microphone and amplifier. Made in Vienna, Austria. Weighs only 1.5 oz, and is 12.6 cm long by 1.6 cm in diameter.