Hearing aids

The June 6 1959 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two different ads for hearing ads. Both of them looked a bit unusual to me.

The first was for the 3-D Super-Powered Hearing Aid:


This company had just set up shop in Toronto, as they did not appear in the 1959 city directory. They are listed in the 1960 city directory as the Universal 3-Dimensional Electronic Hearing Aid Co Ltd. In the 1969 directory (the latest that I can access online), they were listed at 27 Carlton Street, first floor.

The second was for the Acousticon Privat-Ear:


The Acousticon hearing aid was invented by Miller Reese Hutchison in 1902. He turned over the rights to his invention to Kelley Monroe Turner, who improved the hearing aid and applied its technology to other products, including the dictograph. He eventually formed the Dictograph Products Company.

The Canadian arm of this company first appears in the 1934 city directory as the Acousticon-Dictograph Company of Canada. By 1948, they had opened their retail branch at 67 Richmond Street West. The Acousticon brand name remained in use, even though the technology had improved in the meantime.

By 1969, the Acousticon Hearing Aid Company had moved to the main floor of 137 Yonge Street; there is a Goodlife Fitness there now. The Acousticon Dictograph Company was at 81 John.

A Google search turned up all sorts of references to Acousticon, including a picture of a hearing aid manufactured in approximately 1927. And, while looking in the January 14 1958 Toronto Daily Star, I found this ad:


I don’t know how convincing the hearing aid disguised as glasses actually was, but I think it’s a clever idea.

John Collingwood Reade – mentioned in the Acousticon ad – has a biography on the History of Canadian Broadcasting site.

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