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Zenith Royal Hearing Aid
- 3 in. H x 1.75 in. W x .75 in. D
Plastic, steel, aluminum, metal
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.