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|I have a collection of ear trumpets.
These ecologically sound devices (yes, I mean the pun) are rarely used anymore.
The range of shapes and materials is really quite wide.
One UK manufacturer was still making them in 1963, and supplying until 1976.
I know one other user, who like me, uses an ear trumpet sometimes.
I have some very agricultural ones and a very early (1803) silver one worth more than a small car.
On this site an 'ear trumpet' is any kind of acoustic or mechanical hearing aid.
The variety is astounding and even more so the things that people try and pass off as ear trumpets.
In addition to the various different approaches to making an acoustic aid
- straight horn, folded horn, conversation tube, ear insert etc. there is a huge variation in each approach.
On top of variation, one might expect some size differences, but the reality is astounding.
I do not clean or repair the items in my collection unless essential for preservation.
It is now known as the Packington Collection.
I would be very interested in hearing from anyone wishing to sell a genuine ear trumpet. I am not interested in electronic aids, but maybe in electrical quack devices.
I collect any related item that is a good discussion point when showing the collection. Thus I have a couple of monaural stethoscopes and some other items which were possibly used as ear trumpets.
Also there are some items which are not actually ear trumpets at all but demonstrate some of the things passed off as such.
As my collection has grown a couple of people have asked why I collect ear trumpets.
Firstly, I am very, very deaf with only a limited response of 440 to 700 Hz in one ear.
Expensive electronic hearing aids have proved pretty useless to me, because of the way that the industry works
- see my open letter.
I was given a beautiful very old and rare solid silver trumpet in 2001.
My wife then found a chased EPNS Rein which is also lovely and I bought that.
Then I found out about conversation tubes and I was hooked.
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