Roll Over Image to Zoom ‹ Back to Collection

Zenith Royal Hearing Aid

  • Zenith
  • 3 in. H x 1.75 in. W x .75 in. D
    Plastic, steel, aluminum, metal
  • 2008.035

Description

Researchers at Bell Labs in the late 1940s finally succeeded in fulfilling their dream—to replace fragile vacuum tubes with a solid-state amplifier. The tiny device, made from a chemically modified sliver of the semiconductor germanium and some wires, was dubbed the “transistor.” Hearing aids were the first commercial product to use transistors. Introduced in 1952, transistor hearing aids used one-tenth the power of vacuum-tube hearing aids and therefore required less frequent replacement of expensive batteries.

Search Our Online Collections

Distillations

Listen to the latest episodes of CHF’s award-winning science podcast.

 

Historically Grounded Perspectives

The Center for Contemporary History and Policy explores issues ranging from energy to medicine on CHF's blog, Periodic Tabloid.

 

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible donation online.