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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 38

Audiphone in Chicago. — Tests and Testimony

page 10

Audiphone in Chicago.

Tests and Testimony.

From the N. W. Christian Advocate.

"A trial of the capabilities of the Audiphone was made before several journalists and other gentlemen September 4, on three persons, one of whom had never heard anything, while the two others were partially deaf. The mute was blindfolded and asked to respond to the sounds made with the use of the Audiphone, which he did in a manner to convince all present that he could hear an ordinary vocal tone. The Audiphone enables those who are partially deaf to hear with nearly or quite the perfection of those who are in complete possession of the sense."

Later.—(Same paper, November 26, 1879.) "We have noted the success, in many cases, of the fan-shaped, rubber 'Audiphone,' sold by Rhodes & McClure, of this city. We have seen and tested the Audiphone, to which we feel under obligations because alone of the magical and blessed boon it has proved to several loved personal friends. In some cases the relief has been instantaneous, magical, and, to the patients, overwhelming. We have seen friends burst into glad tears and sink quietly to the floor under the glad stroke of, gratitude and joy. We add for information: The instrument costs ten dollars: it is fan-shaped, and under that guise its use for relief is not always detected; it will succeed when the drum of the ear alone is damaged and the auditory nerve is healthy in part or wholly; the upper horizontal edge of the fan is applied to the upper teeth, and false teeth, if well fitted, do not defeat the instrument. The page 11 relief given to so many hundreds will secure undying gratitude to the inventor."

Still Later.—(Same paper, January 14, 1880.) "Rev. B. C. Dennis, pastor at Pre-emption, Ill., has, as we noted, tried in vain to secure medical relief from deafness. He finally tried the 'Audiphone,' of which he says in a private note: 'The Audiphone is bringing me into a new world of sound. I thank God.' Some are aided by the instrument, while others are beyond help. The test is in the patient alone, not in the Audiphone. For their sakes alone, we advise all the deaf-in-part to try the experiment. No money, or mere request from the makers could gain this good word. "We speak it unsolicited for all sufferers. Dr. D. D. Whedon did not obtain relief thereby."

From the Hon. Joseph Medill.

In the Chicago Tribune.

"It is known that the editor of this paper has been deaf for a number of years, and that during that time he has used all the devices for improving his hearing that he could hear of or that were brought to him. None of them were, however, satisfactory. He has tried the Audiphone for some weeks, and finds that it not only improves his hearing

But Restores the Sense

of hearing to him. Not merely does it answer when engaged in conversation with a person who is a foot, or a few feet, from him, but it answers perfectly at a concert. Each note of the musician and each tone of the singer come as clearly and distinctly as they did before the sense of hearing was impaired. Others have also tested this instrument, and have expressed themselves satisfied with its working."

page 12

From the Advance.

"Hear, O ye deaf! The 'Audiphone' is the name of an instrument, recently invented by Mr. Richard S. Rhodes, of" Chicago, which, it is believed, will work wonders for the relief of the deaf. Its construction is as simple almost as that of a Japanese fan, which in shape it resembles. It is a device by which one whose hearing is either wholly or par-tially lost, may hear—not through the ear—but through the teeth; that is, by means of vibrations communicated from the edge of the fan-shaped instrument to the teeth, and through the teeth, and thence to the auditory nerve. We have seen persons hear sounds in this way who never before knew what sound was. If we are not much mistaken, the world will yet build a monument to our friend Mr. Rhodes for the beneficence of his invention."

From the Interior.

"We have known for some time that Mr. Richard S. Rhodes, of the publishing firm of Rhodes & McClure (our former agent, Rev. J. B. McClure), was perfecting a new invention for making the deaf to hear. The invention is a method of conveying sound to the auditory nerve through the teeth, and it seems to be a success. Hon. Joseph Medill (editor of the Chicago Tribune), whose hearing is very deficient, is able, by its use, to hear ordinary conversation perfectly, and others bear similar testimony."

Later.—"I knew it was coming—something which would do lor the hearing what spectacles do for the sight." So writes a friend in regard to the Audiphone. But the tests at Methodist Church Block show that the Audiphone does more than this. No spectacles will give a blind man sight, but the Audiphone does give the deaf man hearing.

page 13

Testimony from the Chicago Tribune.

The Audiphone—A Most Satisfactory Test.

"In the parlors of the First Methodist Church yesterday afternoon, Mr. R. S. Rhodes, the inventor of the audiphone, submitted his instrument to some severe and very interesting tests, in the presence of a number of people, including Mr. G. C. Tallerday, of the Medical Times, Dr. T. W. Brophy, Prof. Swing, Mr. L. M. Stone, and Mr. Gray, of the Interior.

Already The Tribune has contained a brief account of this wonderful invention, and the interest it has awakened among deaf people is but a revival of that over the announcement made a year or so ago by Edison when he declared himself the discoverer of an appliance by which the man or woman whose ears were utterly useless should be able to hear, not only ordinary conversation, but should be able to appreciate the pleasures of music. When Edison failed to fulfill his promises, people generally, and many medical men, too, scouted the idea of ever being able to reach the point which the inventor of the quadruplex telegraph thought he had reached; but Mr. Rhodes, a deaf man himself, when the telephonic diaphragm appeared, caught a suggestion from it, and the result was his audiphone.

It is in shape like a square Japanese fan, and is made of a composition the major portion of which is vulcanite. At the back of this thing there is a cord, stretching from the upper edge to the handle. By means of this cord the instrument is tuned like a violin, and the tension is regulated according to the distance the sound has to travel. The upper edge of this audiphone is placed against the two upper teeth, and the vibrations received on its surface are conveyed by the medium of the teeth, and the nerves of the teeth to the acoustic nerves, and produce upon them an action page 14 similar to the action produced by sound upon the drum of the ear.

In addition to experiments made yesterday with people who were not completely devoid of hearing, two boys were made to hear the human voice for the first time in their lives. One, 17 years of age, was deaf and dumb, while the other was about 15, and, although he could speak, he was perfectly deaf. At first the sounds were strange to them, but after a little they signified that they could hear them distinctly, and understand perfectly that they were sounds. Of course, in order that they may comprehend what the meaning of the words spoken is they will have to be taught.

Medical men and others were charged with the experiments, they admired the simplicity of the invention, and there certainly now appears to be no earthly reason why the deaf should remain deaf."

Testimony from the Inter-Ocean.

News for the Deaf—Complete Success of the Audiphone—Simple yet Marvelous.

"Yesterday afternoon a number of interested gentlemen assembled in one of the parlors of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, on Clark Street, to gather some information relative to the audiphone. This little machine is the invention of Mr. Richard S. Rhodes, of the firm of Rhodes & McClure, and is intended to be used by those who have wholly or partially lost the sense of hearing.

The audiphone is very simple in construction, and without any mechanism. It is apparently a black polished india rubber or "vulcanite" fan, the leaf part being square with rounded corners, the material very flexible, so that the page 15 leaf can, if necessary, be bent double. One side has cords attached from the thin end or top of the flap of the fan to the handle. When these cords are drawn tight they curve down the flap or leaf of the audiphone, which is then fixed for use. It is used by the deaf by applying the thin edge of the fan to the four front teeth of the upper jaw.

There were several deaf mutes present, who were experimented upon. Mr. Charles Day was the first of these. Fixing the audiphone to his teeth he repeated quite audibly the monosyllabic sounds "boo, hoo," which Mr. Rhodes recited to him. To prove that he had not imitated the sounds from watching the illustrator's lips, Mr. Day was blindfolded and then also showed conclusively, by repeating two more sounds, that this was a bona-fide triumph of the audiphone. Without the apparatus Mr. Day could only be communicated with by the deaf-mute sign language. Mr. Day, who is an intelligent young fellow, is enthusiastic with regard to the audiphone. He has for the first time by its aid heard the sound of his own voice. To The Inter-Ocean reporter he stated, via the interpreter, that he was satisfied with the audiphone, and repeated the word "water" so as to be understood, which he had learned by means of these "new spectacles for the ears."

A gentleman who was very hard of hearing tested the audiphone and found it of great benefit. Several other experiments were made, and were in each case more, or less successful.

Among those who were in the audience were the Rev. Professor Swing, the Rev. L. M. Stone, and Dr. Gray, of the Interior; Dr. J. C. Tallerday, of the Medical Times; Dr. Brophy, and representatives of The Inter-Ocean and other daily journals."

page 16

From the "Faderneslandet."

[The editor of this journal voluntarily Interviewed the parties mentioned herein concerning the Audiphone.]

"This instrument has already attracted a good deal of attention, and all agree that it is going to be of immense alue for the deaf. The most prominent papers have contained big treatises over the Audiphone, and we could furnish our readers with hundreds of undeniable testimonies concerning the excellences of the Audiphone, but space compels us to be satisfied in giving the following few:

The Hon. Jos. Medill, proprietor of the Chicago Tribune, has been deaf for a number of years, and during that time he has been using all devices known for improving his hearing. None of them were satisfactory, but now, when he has tried the Audiphone for some weeks, he finds that it not only improves his hearing but restores the sense of hearing to him.

The son of Mr. Jacob Kleinhaus, No. 91 Chicago Avenue, has a long time been suffering from deafness. He states, that at a visit at the company's office he could hear very perfectly through the Audiphone, and intends to purchase one.

Frank E. Gerber, No. [unclear: 17] Twentieth St., and Samuel F. Woods, No. 94 Washing too St., also witness the excellency of the instrument.

Charles F. Day. No. 755 [unclear: Nichigan Ayr]. deaf since 1864, can hear somewhat with the audiphone.

John Hollaed, deaf eight [unclear: years residing] at No. 791 Hinman St., can hear with [unclear: Audiphone].

Frank [unclear: Luttrell], residing in Cairo, ill., states the same.

Fred. Stiekel, from [unclear: Delavan,] Wis., deaf ana amno and attending school in Chicago, can hear with Audiphone. Thinks he cannot do without it.

page 17

Lars M. Larson, a Swede, residing in Springville, Wis., believes that he can learn to hear with the Audiphone.

Alexander Weisel, twenty years old, eighteen years deaf, can hear with Audiphone."

From the "Die Deutsche Warte."

"Chicago once more ahead! for Richard S. Rhodes, of the publishing firm of Rhodes & McClure, of this city, who has been deaf for about twenty years, has succeeded in bringing to practical use the long-known theory of hearing by means of the bones of any part of the head, and for which the eye teeth, with their delicate nerve system, form the basis of oneration. It is a well-known fact that Bee-thoven the great composer, used as a substitute for the ear a metallic rod which he held between the teeth, with the other end resting on the sounding board of his piano, by which means he was able to hear what his brain had produced, and thus reach perfection in music when has rarely been equaled.

We can say with assurance that those denied the pleasure of hearing, and who have a good set of teeth, will no longer be deaf. We have the best evidence of this in our friend Jos. Mill, the editor of the Chicago Tribune, who assures us, that nee he is in possession of the Audiphone he [unclear: does] not feel the loss of hearing to suco an extent as before, and that he hears with the Audiphone every word spoken or any other noise near him as good as those whose hearing is perfect, and can again enjoy the theater and other public amusements."