1634: The earliest description of an ‘ear trumpet’ dates back to 1634, given by the French Jesuit priest and mathematician Jean Leurechonin.
1819: A London firm was commissioned to create a special acoustic throne for King John VI of Portugal. The chair’s ornate arms were designed to look like the mouths of lions, and acted as acoustic receivers that transmitted sound to the king’s ears.
1898: Using telephone-related technology, the first electronic hearing aid was constructed in 1898 by Miller Reese Hutchison. It was called the ‘Akouphone’.
1970s and 80s: With the advent of microprocessors in the 1970s, hearing aids entered the digital age. They were miniaturised and, in 1987, the first commercial digital hearing aid was released by Nicolet Corporation. Unfortunately, their hearing aid wasn’t successful and the company folded shortly after.
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