Ear trumpets are tubular or funnel-shaped devices which collect sound waves and lead them into the ear. They serve as hearing aids, resulting in a strengthening of the sound energy impact to the eardrum and thus a better hearing for a reduced or decreased hearing individual.
- 1624 - The French Jesuit priest and mathematician Jean Leurechon (1591–1670) writes Recreations mathématiques (with the pseudonym Henrik van Etten). The book gives the earliest known description of the operation of an ear trumpet.
- 1650 - Athanasius Kircher which in addition to numerous other fields of knowledge with the science of sound and employed in 1650 in his Musurgia the invention of a "hearing machine" described, is regarded as the actual inventor of the stethoscope. The Roman physician Archigenes (2nd century), a stethoscope mentioned as a remedy for hearing loss, as was the Greek physician of Alexander Tralles (5th century). A medieval miniature from the 12th century that is now in the French National Library shows a stethoscope.
- 1812 to 1814 - Johann Nepomuk Mälzel made ear trumpets for Ludwig van Beethoven. They are now kept in the Beethoven Museum in Bonn.
- 1816 - French physician René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec invents the stethoscope to listen for heart sounds.
- 1879 - Rhodes constructed in Chicago from natural shells an audiophone which transferred sound vibrations through bone conduction by the subject held against the teeth or between the teeth.
- 1963 - The ear trumpet producer F. C. Rein and Son in London ended activity as the last company of its kind.
A Pinard horn is a type of stethoscope used by midwives that is designed similarly to an ear trumpet. It is a wooden cone about 8 inches long. The midwife presses the wide end of the horn against the pregnant woman's belly to monitor heart tones. Pinard horns were invented in France in the 19th century, and are still in use in many places worldwide.
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