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Hearing Aids and the History of Electronics Miniaturization
April-June 2011 (vol. 33 no. 2)
pp. 24-45
Mara Mills, New York University

Electrical hearing aids were the principal site for component miniaturization and compact assembly before World War II. After the war, hearing aid users became the first consumer market for printed circuits, transistors, and integrated circuits. Due to the stigmatization of hearing loss, users generally demanded small or invisible devices. In addition to being early adopters, deaf and hard of hearing people were often the inventors, retailers, and manufacturers of miniaturized electronics.

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2. D. MacKenzie, Knowing Machines, MIT Press, 1996, pp. 54–59. Moore's initial prediction was one year, but in practice the doubling has occurred every 1.5 to two years.
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4. E.S. Hintz, "Portable Power: Inventor Samuel Ruben and the Birth of Duracell," Technology and Culture, vol. 50 Jan. 2009, pp. 24–57. Although the button battery was produced before the transistor, to claim that it was more important to the history of miniaturization— and to the development of electronic devices such as the calculator—is to misunderstand the technique of miniaturization and its advantages. With the transistor, especially as it evolved into the microprocessor, smallness was linked not only to literal size, but to increased density, processing speeds, and reliability.
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8. M.B. Schiffer, notes the rise of assorted "pocket" devices in the early 20th century for Americans who were newly mobile due to cars and increased leisure time. M.B. Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, Univ. of Arizona Press, 1991, p. 38.
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10. Mollick, "Establishing Moore's Law," p. 62.
11. Standard surveys of mobile phone and mobile media history similarly argue that portable handsets were the result of miniaturized electronics, rather than considering the ways that portable electroacoustic media drove component miniaturization. See, for instance, R. Ling and J. Donner, Mobile Communication, Polity, 2009, or G. Goggin, Cell Phone Culture: Mobile Technology in Everyday Life, Routledge, 2006.
12. T. Misa explains that military interest in miniaturized electronics began with the walkie-talkie in the late 1930s. T. Misa, "Military Needs, Commercial Realities and the Development of the Transistor," Military Enterprise and Technological Change, M. Roe Smith ed., MIT Press, 1985, pp. 253–287. See also C. Lécuyer, , Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970, MIT Press, 2005.
13. Miniature tubes and other "diminutive components" specifically "made possible military transceivers of unprecedented portability," such as Handie-Talkies. Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, p. 130.
14. Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, p. 123. Although the dream of a pocket radio dates to the 19th century, Schiffer argues that radios truly began to be miniaturized during the Depression. "Prior to this time [the 1930s], there had been no effort to reduce the size of volume controls, tuning capacitors, intermediate frequency transformers, and so forth. But once it became a priority, miniaturization was readily accomplished." Interestingly, miniaturized radios were less expensive; the opposite was often true for hearing aids ( Schiffer, p. 103).
15. According to Ross Bassett, this incrementalism was not necessarily linear. Bassett, To the Digital, p. 284.
16. Or what E. Braun and S. MacDonald call "the general ethos of miniaturisation." E. Braun and S. MacDonald, Revolution in Miniature, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1982, p. 94. By 1959, industry experts recognized that "more advances have been made in the miniaturization of hearing aids than in any other consumer product." D.A. Findlay, "Miniaturization of Consumer Products," Miniaturization, H.D. Gilbert ed., Reinhold, 1961, p. 183.
17. , Whereas the military demand for reliable electronics encouraged the development of the planar transistor in 1959, early and even provisional versions of the transistor (as well as other components) found their way into hearing aids. Thank you to the anonymous reviewer who pointed this detail out to me.
18. "The standard of reference for most miniaturization steps is the original vacuum-tube circuitry represented by the full size octalbase vacuum tube and its associated circuitry. The first stage of miniaturization—which usually means a size reduction of the order of 10 times—was effected by the use of subminiature vacuum tubes, printed wiring, some component size reduction, and more efficient component integration." J.J. Staller and A.H. Wolfsohn, "Miniaturization in Computers," Miniaturization, H.D. Gilbert ed., Reinhold, 1961, p. 115. The article by Nall in the same volume also places hearing aids at the start of a timeline that leads to ICs.
19. J.F. Battey, "Testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations,", Nat'l Inst. on Deafness and Other Common Disorders (NIDCD), 26 Mar. 2007, congressional battey20070326.htm.
20. "The Basics: Hearing Aids," NIDCD, 2010, thebasics_hearingaid.asp .
21. Quackery was less rampant in the field of electrical hearing aids than in that of "deafness cures." Nevertheless, the longstanding lack of legal and medical oversight in this industry has often permitted the fraudulent marketing of inexpensive as well as expensive aids. Am. Medical Assoc. Bureau of Investigation, Deafness Cures, Am. Medical Assoc., 1912.
22. To be sure, hearing aid miniaturization has often resulted in decreased amplification and/or options for customization.
23. I intend both meanings of "cultural imperative" here: the general definition of a compulsory cultural norm, as well as M.B. Schiffer's concept for "a product fervently believed by a group—its constituency—to be desirable and inevitable, merely awaiting technological means for its realization." M.B. Schiffer, "Cultural Imperatives and Product Development: The Case of the Shirt-Pocket Radio," Technology and Culture, vol. 34, no. 1, 1993, pp. 98–113.
24. "In the early 1970s, these electronics-based industries, and the traditional computer industry, were quite distinct sectors, with very little crossover between them. By the late 1970s, however, they would all converge around a single product—the personal computer—built around the microprocessor, which was a true computer." W. Aspray and M. Campbell-Kelly, Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Basic Books, 1997, p. 199.
25. In Braun and MacDonald's account, the history of miniaturized electronics switches from "market-pull" to "technology-push" with the transistor. Similarly, Bassett argues that with the microprocessor "digital electronics…proliferated into almost every area of American life, through the small unseen computers that do their work in appliances and automobiles as well as through personal computers." Bassett, To the Digital, p. 251.
26. For a survey of this literature, see N. Oudshoorn and T. Pinch eds., , How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technologies, MIT Press, 2003, especially the introduction.
27. For a more detailed discussion of mechanical hearing aids, and their significance to the history of electroacoustics, see M. Mills, "When Mobile Communication Technologies Were New," Endeavour, vol. 33, no. 4, 2009, pp. 141–147. R. Hüls offers a broad history of hearing aids in Die Geschichte der Hörakustik, Median-Verlag Heidelberg, 1999. See also K. Berger, The Hearing Aid: Its Operation and Development, Nat'l Hearing Aid Soc., 1970.
28. C. Sarlie et. al., "19th-Century Camouflaged Mechanical Hearing Devices," Otology and Neurotology, vol. 24, no. 4, 2003, pp. 691–698.
29. On the history of mechanization and rationalization across many domains of human life, see S. Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History, Norton, 1969.
30. See S. Mihm, "'A Limb Which Shall be Presentable in Polite Society': Prosthetic Technologies in the Nineteenth Century," Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics, ed. K. Ott, D. Serlin, and S. Mihm eds., New York Univ. Press, 2002, pp. 282–299; D.D. Yuan,, "Disfigurement and Reconstruction in Oliver Wendell Holmes's 'The Human Wheel, Its Spokes and Felloes,'" The Body and Physical Difference: Discourses of Disability, D.T. Mitchell, and S.L. Snyder eds., Univ. of Michigan Press, 1997, pp. 71–88; R., Garland-Thomson, Staring: How We Look, Oxford Univ. Press, 2009.
31. Sarli et al., "19th-Century," pp. 692–693. Here they restate the argument found in S.D. Stephens, and J.C. Goodwin, "Non-electric Aids to Hearing: A Short History," Audiology, vol. 23, no. 2, 1984, pp. 215–240.
32. This lecture was itself broadcast through a "group hearing aid." H. Fletcher, "Alexander Graham Bell—The Inventor—The Teacher," talk before 16th Ann. Conf. Am. Soc. for the Hard of Hearing, 27 May 1936, p. 9, series UA 029, box 2, folder 2, Harvey Fletcher Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young Univ. The description of hearing aids as "miniature telephone systems" pervaded Bell publications. See also W.L. Tuffnell, "The Ortho-Technic Audiphone," Bell Laboratories Record, vol. 28, Sept. 1939, pp. 8–11.
33. Schiffer describes a similar tension between power and size in the portable radio field. Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, p. 15.
34. A.A. Hayden, "Hearing Aids from Otologists' Audiograms," J. Am. Medical Assoc., vol. 111, no. 7, 1938, pp. 592–593.
35. J. Sterne also discusses this "living telephone." J. Sterne, The Audible Past, Duke Univ. Press, 2003, pp. 81–82; from the Buffalo N.Y. Times,24 Jan. 1897. Clipping held in "Hearing" file, audiology folder, Medical Sciences Division, Smithsonian Institution Nat'l Museum of Am. History.
36. Campbell, Helps to Hear, p. 89.
37. D.D. Runes ed., The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas A. Edison, Philosophical Library, 1948, p. 53. Edison was involved in a lengthy patent dispute with E. Berliner over the carbon transmitter; the patent was eventually awarded to him by the American and British courts.
38. Edison went on, "I do believe that it is a possibility to utilize the results so far attained in the art of telephony, in the condition [i.e. deafness] you name." Campbell, Helps to Hear, pp. 104–105. By 1878, Siemens was in fact selling the Phonophor, a telephone amplifier attachment, by which "many people with impaired hearing could understand speech better when telephoning than in normal conversation." Siemens Timeline, Siemens file, Berger Archives. On similar attachments in the U.S., see W.P. Banning, "Bringing Telephone Service to the Deaf," Bell Telephone Quarterly, vol. 4, Jul. 1925, pp. 203–210.
39. "Congressional Speeches over the Telephone," New York Times,20 Jan. 1907, SM6. Hutchison also developed a means of miniaturizing the sound film recording process, so that a wider range of frequencies per second could be played back. "New Film Enlarges Range of 'Talkies,'" New York Times,27 Jan. 1931, p. 4. Furthermore, he invented the electric automobile horn, which prompted his friend Mark Twain to comment on the vicious circle of modern amplification, "You invented the Klaxon horn to make people deaf, so they'd have to use your acoustic devices in order to make them hear again." "Miller Hutchison, Inventor, 67, Dead," New York Times,18 Feb. 1944, p. 17.
40. For more on the relationship between the New York League for the Hard of Hearing and AT&T, see M. Mills, "Deafening: Noise and the Engineering of Communication in the Telephone System," to be published in Grey Room, spring 2011, p. 43.
41. F. Warfield, Cotton in My Ears, Viking Press, 1948, p. 137.
42. F. Warfield, Keep Listening, Viking Press, 1957, p. 41. Hearing aids aroused many suspicions about new technology. In 1926, The New York Times reported on the dousing of a businessman's Acousticon by the city bomb squad—it was in a generic black case and seemed to be giving off a ticking noise. "Acousticon in Bag Causes a Bomb Scare," New York Times,22 Aug. 1926, p. 27.
43. Warfield, Cotton in My Ears, p. 88.
44. By identifying stigma with miscommunication, it could be argued that stigma theory itself reinforced the discredit attached to hearing loss and deafness. E. Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, revised ed., Touchstone, 1986, pp. 104, 49 (original ed. Prentice Hall, 1963). Adopting the language of communication engineering, Goffman further classified stigma symbols as "information carriers," p. 45.
45. On hearing aids specifically, see Goffman, Stigma, pp. 92–93.
46. R. Garland-Thomson, Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature, Columbia Univ. Press, 1997, p. 14.
47. At the same time, many users of ear trumpets chose not to trade them in for electrical aids: mechanical devices were inexpensive, sturdy, and did not contain parts (such as batteries) that had to be replaced.
48. "The History of Western Electric Hearing Aids," p. 12, Western Electric file, Kenneth Berger Hearing Aid Archive, Kent State Univ.
49. Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, p. 169.
50. S. Bennett, A History of Control Engineering, 1800–1930, Peter Peregrinus, 1986, p. 184.
51. By 1913, De Forest Radio, Telephone, and Telegraph—his vacuum tube-manufacturing company—was marketing the Audion using the terms of deaf oral pedagogy, which went hand in hand with the technification of communication: "The wireless was born dumb. It could chirp like a bird or bark like a dog, but it couldn't talk like a human.… For speech to be transmitted there must be a continuous oscillation with the speech modulations impressed on it.… It was De Forest who made the wireless speak." "He Made the Wireless Speak," pamphlet, box 18, item 161, p. 70, Lee De Forest papers, History San José. Reprinted from Radio Merchandising, Sept. 1926.
52. E.C. Hanson, "The Vactuphone," The Volta Rev., July 1921.
53. I. Gerling and M. Taylor, "Quest for Quality and Consumer Appeal Shaped History of Hearing Aid," The Hearing J., vol. 50, 1997, p. 42. Gerling and Taylor claim that "In 1924, the Secret Service requested and was granted permission to use the Vactuphone for its Operations."
54. H. Fletcher the director of speech and hearing studies at AT&T, was also personally invested in the issues of hearing loss and assistive technology. He served for many years as the President of the New York League for the Hard of Hearing, and his own father was deaf. S. Fletcher, Harvey Fletcher, 1884–1981, Nat'l Academy of Sciences, 1992, p. 179.
55. "Most of the military sets…," Schiffer explains, "were technologically old-fashioned, consisting of cumbersome spark transmitters and receivers without audions." Trench Sets were trunk-sized; Pack Sets were carried in backpacks. More powerful military portables were larger and required truck transportation. In 1922, however, various firms began to assemble compact radios with "efficient" designs. For further details about portable radios during and after World War I. See Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, pp. 28–30, 67.
56. On peanut tubes, see D. Vermeulen, "The Remarkable Dr. Hendrik van der Bijl," Proc. IEEE, vol. 86, no. 12, 1998, pp. 2445–2454.
57. All these renovations were tested on family members and friends of Bell System employees. "Material Given to Some Western Electric Employees in 1933," Kenneth Berger Hearing Aid Archives, Kent State Univ.
58. Just prior to the Depression, Sonotone and Acousticon each sold approximately 60,000 aids annually. "Material Given to Some Western Electric Employees in 1933," p. 3, Western Electric File, Berger Archive.
59. M. Reis, "Student Life at the Indiana School for the Deaf During the Depression Years," Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship, J. Vickrey Van Cleve ed., Gallaudet Univ. Press, 1993, p. 201.
60. M. Mead ed., An Anthropologist at Work: Writings of Ruth Benedict, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1959, p. 74., Elsewhere, Mead discusses Benedict's style of ethnography and textual analysis in terms of her hearing loss. M. Mead, Ruth Benedict, Columbia Univ. Press, 1974, p. 30.
61. P. Vose, Say It Again, Southworth Press, 1931, pp. 13–14.
62. M. Hays Heiner, Hearing is Believing, World Publishing Company, 1949, p. 61.
63. Hays Heiner, Hearing is Believing, p. 66.
64. Warfield, Keep Listening, 43.
65. Subsequently, she continually tested and purchased new models.
66. K. Berger estimates that there were 50,000 carbon hearing aid wearers as late as 1944. Berger, Hearing Aid, p. 41.
67. N. Krim personal discussion with M. Mills28 Feb. 2008. According to an earlier interview with M.B. Schiffer, Krim had also learned that a former Raytheon employee was making small hearing aid tubes for the British electronics firm Hi-Vac. Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, p. 161.
68. For a good overview of a topic that has been overlooked by historians, see K. Petherbridge, P. Evans, and D. Harrison, "The Origins and Evolution of the PCB: A Review," Circuit World, vol. 31, no. 1, 2005, pp. 41–45.
69. P. Eisler, My Life With the Printed Circuit, Lehigh Univ. Press, 1989, p. 27.
70. "Model Airplane Tube Led to Proximity Fuse," The Boston Globe,5 Jan. 1964. Clipping held in the subject files at the IEEE History Center.
71. Allen-Howe was itself a 1945 spin-off of Globe Phone (who marketed the Vactuphone in 1921).
72. Allen-Howe introduced their aid at a 15 Oct. 1947 symposium on printed circuits in Washington, DC, which was attended by nearly 1,000 engineers and scientists.
73. H. Gilbert ed., Miniaturization, Reinhold, 1961, pp. 19, 21.
74. "The Printed Circuit," Solo-Pak File, Kenneth Berger Hearing Aid Archives, Kent State Univ.
75. "Smallest Hearing Aid Uses Printed Circuit," Radio-Craft, Jan. 1948. Clipping held in Solo-Pak File, Berger Archive. The Volta Review introduced printed circuit techniques (silkscreen, electroplating, photographic printing) to its readers even earlier. E.L.R. Corliss, "Printed Circuits for Hearing Aids," The Volta Rev., vol. 49 Sept. 1947, pp. 405–406, 444, 446.
76. Schiffer notes that advertisements for postwar portable radios often listed "alleged war-derived improvements" even though "all were based on pre-war technologies." (This changed with the incorporation of the printed circuit into portable radios.) Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life, p. 141.
77. R. Garland-Thomson, "The Politics of Staring: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in Popular Photography," Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities, S.L. Snyder, B.J. Brueggemann, and R. Garland-Thomson eds., Modern Language Assoc. of America, 2002, p. 69.
78. , Garland-Thomson, "The Politics of Staring," p. 69. G. Bachelard similarly argues, "The cleverer I am at miniaturising the world, the better I possess it." Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, p. 150.
79. M.B. Schiffer, "Cultural Imperatives and Product Development: The Case of the Shirt-Pocket Radio," Technology and Culture, vol. 34, 1993, p. 107.
80. One of their first publications on the topic, forecasting possible applications, was "The Transistor," Bell Laboratories Record, vol. 26, 1948, pp. 321–324.
81. Braun and MacDonald note that the first transistors were actually noisier than vacuum tubes, moreover they "could handle less power" and "were more restricted in their frequency performance." Braun and MacDonald, Revolution in Miniature, p. 49.
82. A Pacific Bell circular announcing these licenses to San Francisco customers noted, "the telephone itself was a by-product of early experiments by Alexander Graham Bell who had a lifelong interest in the problems of the deaf." "No Royalty Payments on Transistors in Hearing Aids," Talk: News and Information about your Telephone Service, Sept. 1954, pp. 86-050, box 11, binder, William Shockley Papers, Stanford Archives. Riordan and Hoddeson point out that J. Bardeen's wife "used one of the first transistorized hearing aids, supplied by Sonotone at Shockley's urging." Riordan and Hoddeson, Crystal Fire, p. 205.
83. N. Krim email message to M. Mills18 Feb. 2008.
84. N. Krim personal discussion with M. Mills2 Feb. 2008.
85. N. Krim email message to M. Mills18 Feb. 2008. However, Raytheon continued to manufacture subminiature vacuum tubes for other purposes into the 1990s.
86. The start-up costs for this project were such that Krim considers himself to have "gambled the company" on transistors.
87. G. Rostky, "Hearing with Transistors," The Transistor, A Biography, CMP Publications, Raytheon Archives, 1997, p. 13.
88. Riordan and Hoddeson state that "when the hearing-aid market erupted in 1953, Raytheon quickly cornered it, supplying most of the amplifiers for the 200,000 transistorized hearing aids that sold that year." Crystal Fire, p. 226
89. For a discussion of Zenith's long-term cost-cutting, and its rise to the top of the hearing aid industry. See J.J. Nagle, "Hearing Aid Costs Challenged Again," New York Times,20 June 1954, p. F1.
90. B.J. Farwig, "Zenith's $40 Hearing Aid Leads," Sales Management Magazine,1 July 1944, p. 25. Many thanks to M.B. Schiffer for providing me with a copy of this article.
91. "The Transistor," The Volta Rev., vol. 55, no. 6, Jun. 1953, p. 308.
92. "Transistors in Need of Improvement," New York Times,19 Apr. 1953, p. E9.
93. "Zenith Finds Flaw in Transistor Aid," New York Times,17 Apr. 1953, p. 33.
94. Krim often used the language of "early adoption": "The hearing aid manufacturers, always alert to the new developments in their field, will become the first in the electronics industry to give their consumers the advantages made possible by the development of the junction transmitters." "Transistors Set for Hearing Aids," New York Times,26 Jan. 1953, p. 27.
95. F. Bello, "The Year of the Transistor," Fortune, vol. 47, Mar. 1953, p. 132.
96. Braun and MacDonald, Revolution in Miniature, p. 49.
97. J. McDonald, "The Men who Made TI," Fortune, Nov. 1961, p. 118.
98. P.E. Haggerty, "A Successful Strategy," 25th Anniversary Observance Transistor Radio and Silicon Transistor 17 Mar. 1980, p. 4, TI Manuscript Collection, Smithsonian Nat'l Museum of Am. History Archives.
99. See "Shockley Predicts Transistor Growth," Television Digest,27 Oct. 1956, Shockley Papers, Stanford Univ. Archives.
100. "Beckman Backs Transistors: Shockley Semiconductor Lab to Develop and Produce Transistors, Other Solid State Electronic Devices," Chemical and Eng. News, vol. 34, 1956, p. 1067.
101. Rostky, "Hearing with Transistors," p. 11.
102. Andy Grove the founder of one of these companies—Intel—wore a hearing aid as a result of childhood scarlet fever. Grove often communicated with his vacuum tube hearing aid in novel ways, for instance hitting it against the conference table to indicate dissent. See T. Jackson, Inside Intel: Andy Grove and the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Chip Company, Dutton, 1997.
103. S. Leslie, "Blue Collar Science: Bringing the Transistor to Life in the Lehigh Valley," HSPS, vol. 32, 2001, p. 86.
104. For a photograph of Kilby wearing an eyeglass aid, see the cover of Electronic Daily Magazine, vol. 9, no. 1, Mar. 1960.
105. M. Wolff, "The Genesis of the Integrated Circuit," IEEE Spectrum, vol. 13, Aug. 1976, p. 46. This article places most of the "motivation to miniaturize" with the military.
106. Braun and MacDonald, Revolution in Miniature, p. 89.
107. "Subject: Transistor Development," Jack Kilby to R.L. Wolff24 September 1953, p.2, "Kilby-correspondence with Centralab-to R.L. Wolff" folder, box 1, Jack Kilby papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.
108. Packaged Transistor Amplifier (pamphlet, n.d.), "Kilby-Centralab Engineering Preview" folder, box 1, Jack Kilby papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist Univ.
109. It was first sold commercially in a Zenith hearing aid. Air Force Systems Command, "Integrated Circuits Come of Age," pamphlet, p. 20. Clipping held in the subject files ("Integrated Circuit") at the IEEE History Center.
110. Bassett, To the Digital, p. 2.
111. P. Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, 2nd ed., MIT Press, 2003, p. 178.
112. Bassett, To the Digital, p. 251.
113. Quoted in Braun and MacDonald, Revolution in Miniature, p. 93. They go on to argue, "Commercial production processes were developed to supply components and were doing this so successfully by the late fifties and early sixties that the development of new processes to build larger components, even had these been electronically superior, would have been unacceptable."
114. H. Levitt, "A Historical Perspective on Digital Hearing Aids: How Digital Technology has Changed Modern Hearing Aids," Trends Amplif, vol. 11, no. 7, 2007, p. 7. Today, there is a return to analog circuitry in some hearing aids, such as the Lyric.
115. Levitt, "A Historical Perspective on Digital Hearing Aids," p. 11.
116. Levitt, "A Historical Perspective on Digital Hearing Aids," p. 12.
117. On the rising popularity of wireless earpieces, and their potential to decrease the stigma of hearing aids, see R. Jackler, "The Impending End to the Stigma of Wearing Ear Devices and its Revolutionary Implications," Otology & Neurotology, vol. 27, no. 3, 2006, pp. 299–300. Jackler predicts a future of widely used, customizable earpieces for amplification, digital audio, and computer interfacing. For prototypes of fashionable and conspicuous hearing aids, see the Web archive of the HearWear exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2006, vastatic/microsites/ 1498_hearwearplayer.php.
118. K. Ott describes this as the "technological ghetto" of "assistive" technology. K. Ott, "The Sum of Its Parts: An Introduction to Modern Histories of Prosthetics," Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics, K. Ott, D. Serlin, and S. Mihm eds., New York Univ. Press, 2002, p. 21.

Index Terms:
history of computing, hearing aids, microelectronics, disability studies, assistive technologies, history of technology, history of computing hardware
Mara Mills, "Hearing Aids and the History of Electronics Miniaturization," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 24-45, April-June 2011, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2011.43
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