Every once in a while, you stumble upon an artifact that takes you down an interesting path.
Recently, while discussing interesting artifacts in museum collections – specifically “Edison’s Last Breath” in the collections of The Henry Ford – I discovered that we had George Booth’s hearing aid!
The hearing aid was manufactured by Western Electric Company of Kearny, NJ in 1938. A Google search directed me to the Hearing Aid Museum (yes, there is a museum for everything), which claims to be the “largest on-line hearing aid museum in the world, and indeed, probably the second largest collection of old hearing aids in the world.”
George Booth’s hearing aid is a Model 1-A “Ortho-Technic” Carbon Hearing Aid. We have the microphone, receiver, amplifier, battery, and soft leather carrying case. We are only missing the molded earpiece which was attached to the receiver.
Having a “use” item in such great condition is rare in most museum collections and I’m glad we have it as part of the George Gough Booth Papers in the archives.
– Leslie Mio, Associate Registrar