Fan type hearing aid, 1700-1850

Made:
1700-1850 in Unknown place
maker:
Unknown

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Fan type hearing aid, 18th to 19th centuries. Full view, graduated black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Fan type hearing aid, 18th to 19th centuries

Sound was reflected by holding this fan-type hearing aid behind the ear. It is much like cupping your hand behind your ear. The fan is made of a flexible board attached to a wooden handle. A thong is tied to the board, although its purpose is uncertain. It may have been tied onto a small hook by the handle to increase the curvature of the fan. This would increase amplification. Hearing aids of varying designs have been used since the 1500s to help people who are hard of hearing. The effectiveness of the fan as a hearing aid is debatable. However, it was a novel and economical response to a common problem.

On display

National Science and Media Museum: Gallery One

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
Audiology
Object Number:
A87613
Materials:
board, cardboard, waxed, frame, lead, handle, oak, turned, thong, string
type:
aural aid
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Stretton, M.J.L.
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.