Speech is arguably our most basic communication method; in the main, the technology is with us from birth. However, for communication to be effective, the sender and receiver must mutually understand the code being used, whether Morse code or the English language. Hearing impairment can hinder easy communication for sufferers.
This mid-20th century artificial ear by Ballantine Laboratories, follows a long tradition of assistive technologies to facilitate communication by those with impaired hearing. From pre-electric ear trumpets to carbon amplifiers, vacuum tube to transistor hearing aids, the innate need to connect has driven a course of ingenuity and invention, culminating in one of Australia’s most prized achievements: Graeme Clark’s multi-channel cochlear implant.