Deafness in disguise
October 15, 2005 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Concealed hearing devices of the 19th and 20th centuries. Great images in this delightful exhibit of wacky yet charming devices like auricle headphones, dentaphones, concealed beard receptors, barrettes, jewelry, hats, and acoustic chairs.
posted by madamjujujive (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You are the MeFi magnet for the eclectically amusing & wacky. Long may you attract!
posted by peacay at 7:43 AM on October 15, 2005

Fascinating stuff.

Now I'm wondering if the artist at work who always wears an iPod is really listening to music or is hearing-impaired. (Or one is causing the other...)
posted by Foosnark at 7:53 AM on October 15, 2005

I well and truly need a bone conduction fan. If only because when someone asks me, I can say, "This? It's just my bone coduction fan. Now stop mumbling, whippersnapper!".

On the other hand, the combs and barrettes...those are truly the modern gal's solution to understanding today's badly spoken youth. I must have one! So thank you, dearest madame, for the as-always glorious post and for giving me yet more outmoded and hopelessly rare accessories to covet.
posted by melissa may at 9:12 AM on October 15, 2005

This is a wonderful post; I love all of this. Thank you.
posted by Peter H at 9:28 AM on October 15, 2005

What? Speak up!
posted by maxsparber at 9:47 AM on October 15, 2005

The King Goa chair (or a replica) was in the window of the hearing aid shop where I got my ears tested ten years ago.
posted by asok at 10:04 AM on October 15, 2005

Stellar post.
posted by dazed_one at 11:48 AM on October 15, 2005

posted by blendor at 11:57 AM on October 15, 2005

Great post, notice in all the medical and marketing material what's being emphasised, the reason for having a hearing aid: to hear the human voice. Hearing loss is very isolating, some say even more so than loss of sight. All the material shows or talks about people in social or business settings conversing with others. There might be one in there somewhere but I didn't spot anything referring to say, the sounds of nature, or even music although Bob Hope says something about people appreciating his 'radio shows' or 'moving pictures', heh.
posted by scheptech at 11:59 AM on October 15, 2005

[this is good]
posted by Rumple at 12:31 PM on October 15, 2005

I have to agree - quite fascinating reading, and an interesting glimpse at how quickly technology has progressed.
posted by FormlessOne at 12:48 PM on October 15, 2005

Fabulous. Thank you.
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:38 PM on October 15, 2005

Wish it had browse mode.
posted by HTuttle at 6:05 PM on October 15, 2005

This makes me think that Spock might have been deaf.
posted by Citizen Premier at 6:06 PM on October 15, 2005

Thanks, mjjj! Delicious'd!
posted by carter at 9:48 PM on October 15, 2005

Wonderful post. madamejujujive wins an uncountable number of internets.

I love the fans, and the little trumpets that today could be funky earrings.

But it looks like there were a lot more options for women than for men for this kind of thing. Is it because women get more ornaments and accessories or because more of them were losing their hearing? A combination of both? Or... something more sinister?
posted by soyjoy at 10:24 PM on October 15, 2005

This is amazing stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
posted by maryh at 11:58 PM on October 15, 2005

posted by Smedleyman at 3:23 AM on October 16, 2005

Interesting stuff, thanks for the post. There's some modern "disguises" (probably described better as fashion) for hearing aids as well.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:02 PM on October 16, 2005

Foosnark, body aids are not particularly common these days, so it probably really is an iPod. ;)

StaggeringJack, you're right, it's interesting how the attitude has flipped 180° from most of these pictures. There are colored cases, colored earmolds, the clips you linked to, and the Stringy Thing (in girl and boy models) to keep the expensive electronics from falling off a kid's head.
posted by etoile at 1:10 PM on October 19, 2005

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