Special Collections

Dahlberg D-10 Miracle Ear

The Dahlberg was the first "in-the-ear" hearing aid. It was manufactured in 1955, contained three transistors, used a 400 battery and snapped into the earmold.

Globe Vactuphone

The Globe Vactuphone was a Vacuum Tube Telephone made in 1921. It was made to order by Western Electric Co. for Globe. It used a single triode vacuum tube. This was the first hearing aid to use a vacuum tube. The case is 18.4 x 10.0 x 18.3 cm. The engineer's model was not leather covered and did not have the name and patent plate.

Nicolet Phoenix

The Nicolet Phoenix was the first commercially available behind-the-ear digital hearing aid. The earpiece had volume and mic/telecoil patient controls. It was manufactured in 1987. The processing unit was worn in the shirt pocket or on a neckloop. It used one 675ZA battery for the earpiece and three 630ZA batteries for the processor.

Solo-Pak 99

One-piece vacuum tube body aid (1947). This was the first model of hearing aids made with a printed circuit, and the model on display is the 5th such model made with the printed circuit. The aid used RM4 and 412 batteries.

Sonotone Perceptron

The Sonotone Perceptron was manufactured in 1937 and was Sonotone's first vacuum tube hearing aid. The aid contained three vacuum tubes and was built in a camera case typical of that era. The back of the case opens for access to the battery compartment.

Telex 20

The Telex 20 hearing aid was probably the first behind-the-ear hearing aid. It was manufactured in 1957 and used a 625 battery.

Tel Audio

Manufactured in 1936. Vacuum tube, table model with large external microphone. Probably the first hearing aid with telecoil which is located in the extra brown case. Also came in a battery powered model.

Zenith Arcadia

This hearing aid manufactured in 1964, was the first hearing aid made with an integrated circuit. The Arcadia was similar to the Delegate model also made by Zenith. Also shown is the integrated circuit of six transistors. Used a 41 battery.

Audiotone G-2

Hearing aid glasses manufactured in 1955. The hearing aid contained three or four transistors and used a 625 or 630 battery. The Audiotone G-2 was probably the first all-in-one temple eyeglass hearing aid.

Dahlberg D-14

Manufactured in 1958. Labeled as the world's first sun-powered hearing aid. The eyeglass aid also had a regular mercury 675 battery as a back up power source for when the aid could not be immediately recharged.