Silver-plated ear trumpet, by FC Rein & Son, London, England, 1850-1900
The ivory ear tip sat inside the ear canal. The ear trumpet amplified sounds down the tube. The ear trumpet is a type of parabolic reflector. This device projects energy onto a focal point, in this case the ear drum, through refraction and reflection. This enables the ear trumpet to be an effective hearing aid while remaining relatively small. This silver-plated example was made by F. C. Rein and Son in London. The firm was founded in 1800. It was the first company known to manufacture hearing aids commercially.