Stock Number: VARIOUS see details

VARIOUS see details

For sale, early English and American speaking and hearing tubes. These are four different aides for the hearing impaired, either ear trumpets to amplify sound, or speaking tubes to direct a single voice.

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Medicine, Therapeutic & Functional Aids


EAR TRUMPETS AND SPEAKING TUBES (clockwise from upper left)


“MISS GREENE’S HEARING HORN,” American, c. 1900, by E.B. Meyrowitz, Optician, 104 East 23d Street, New York, so signed on the original box label. Constructed of black japanned “tin” (steel, actually), the “Audiat” assembles in two parts to a length of 18-1/2″ (47 cm). It is a banjo-style ear trumpet, which collects considerable sound with its 5-1/4″ diameter bowl. Condition is fine noting minor losses to the finish, and some to the rubber ear protector. (9392) $595.


COLLAPSIBLE EAR TRUMPET IN GUTTA PERCHA, English or American, second half 19th century, opening to 15″ (38 cm) with the bell screwed into the central section and the ear tube withdrawn fully. In fine condition, unusual entirely in hard rubber. (9402) $450.


LONG SPEAKING TUBE WITH DIAPHRAGM, English, c. 1900, stamped ” ‘Ardente,’ 309 Oxford St. W.” Measuring 41-1/2″ (105 cm) long, this instrument has flexible tube bound in black fabric, hard rubber speaking bell, and earpiece with large ebonized wood handle, nickel-plated assembly, and imitation tortoiseshell aperture, all in very fine condition. Unlike the ear trumpet and later hearing aid, which amplify all ambient sounds, the speaking tube was designed to selectively amplify a speaker’s voice, one end being held by the speaker himself. (9412) $500.


COMPACT SPEAKING TUBE, English or American, late 19th century, 37″ (94 cm) long, with narrow fabric-bound flexible tube, curved hard rubber mouthpiece, and curved hard-rubber ear insert, in very fine condition throughout. (9422) $395.

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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at [email protected].

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