The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 38
The Audiphone in Liverpool (England), and Elsewhere.
From the Liverpool Daily Post.
The Audiphone.—In his address on the mechanical genius of the Americans, last Saturday, Mr. James gamuelson showed the model of a new instrument called the Audi-phone, which is destined to afford the means of hearing to deaf persons. It consists of a large thin plate of metal, which is held between the teeth, and acts as a sound board, transmitting sounds to the brain in cases where the ear is imperfect, and unable to perform its functions. Mr. Sam-uelson has now received one of the Audiphones from America, and tested it on Monday upon a number of gentlemen who are more or less hard of hearing, with very excellent results. After giving it a further trial, and fully satisfying himself of its efficiency, he will take means to enable all persons who are afflicted with deafness to witness its operation.
Later.—(Same paper, December 2, 1879.) On Saturday afternoon last, there was held, in the Lecture Hall of the Free Library, a meeting in connection with the Liverpool Science and Art Classes, when the chairman of these classes, Mr. James Samuelson, exhibited an instrument designed as an aid to the deaf—the Audiphone—which he met with during his late visit to America. Mr. Councillor J. A. Picton presided, and there was a crowded audience, there being present several medical gentlemen and others interested in matters pertaining to deafness. Mr. Samuelson first gave a brief description of the structure of the several parts of the ear, and explained how, by the use of the Au- page 39 diphone, sonorous vibrations are gathered up and transmitted through the bones of the face and the skull to the auditory nerve. He next asked several gentlemen on the platform, including Dr. Nevins, to test the instrument, and they all pronounced it a great assistance to hearing. He then tested it on two pupils from the Deaf and Dumb Institution with satisfactory results. Afterwards about a score of persons of different ages and conditions and degrees of deafness came forward from among the audience, and made a trial of the instrument, and in nearly every case it was clearly shown that such sounds as those of the voice, of a bell, a whistle, or a musical instrument, could be heard by the aid of the Audiphone, where without it they were inaudible. The general result appeared to be that, provided the auditory nerve itself was in a healthy condition, the Audiphone was of great assistance to deaf persons. Mr. Samuelson mentioned that the inventor was a Mr. Rhodes, of Chicago, and, in answer to many inquiries from the audience, stated that the Audiphone was now being manufactured by Messrs. Rhodes & McClure, of Methodist Church Block, Chicago, and sold at a price of about ten dollars. The meeting, which was of a most interesting character throughout, concluded with a very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Samuelson for calling attention to so useful an invention.
From Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper.
Information on the Education of Mutes.
The Spanish monk Pedro de Conce, whose name appears in early history, 1570, was the first who undertook to educate the mute so as to make him useful to society. After him, in the seventeenth century, J. Pablo Bonet, a Spaniard, undertook to teach the mute the art of understanding written words, and explained their meaning by drawings and page 40 pictures. The mathematician Wallace began the education of mutes in England as early as 1680. In Holland, in the early part of the eighteenth century, Konrod Amman taught them by the motion of the lips, which he made them practice before a looking-glass. Soon after this period France established a school, through Abbe De l'Epper, to teach the mute by pantomime.
But now, in the latter part of the nineteenth century, R. S. Rhodes, of Chicago, has invented an instrument named the Audiphone, by which the deaf can hear, through the teeth, spoken words and musical sounds, and the mute that has unimpaired auditory nerve can hear his own voice.
This instrument, which has lately been exhibited in several institutions of this country, is destined to be a great boon to those afflicted with deafness.
Its success is established beyond peradventure. In fact it does more than is claimed by the inventor, as hundreds of testimonials coming from all parts of the world prove.
It not only makes the deaf hear, but by stimulating the natural organ of hearing it improves and strengthens its impaired condition. It is opening a new world for the deaf, and the name of R. S. Rhodes, in connection with the Audiphone, will pass into history and be spoken henceforth and forever along with those of Fulton and Franklin and Morse, and others.
From the Herald and Presbyter.
Mr. Richard S. Rhodes, of Chicago, the original inventor of the Audiphone, has recently visited this city and arranged with Mr. A. B. Merriain & Co., corner Fifth and Walnut, to represent and sell his device which enables deaf persons to hear as distinctly through the teeth as others do naturally.page 41
The Audiphone, in appearance, is simply a rubber fen, and its use is so simple and natural that a deaf person may carry it anywhere and use it upon all occasions without attracting attention or exciting remark.
There can be no question that Mr. Rhodes' invention will prove an inestimable boon to thousands of persons who have heretofore been deprived of the priceless blessing of hearing.
We have only to add that Messrs. Rhodes & McClure have adopted a method of introducing their invention which is calculated to convince every one that they have the fullest confidence in its merits and permanent success. Several thousand of these Audiphones are already in use, and giv-ing great satisfaction.
The Audiphone for Women.
In using the Audiphone it has occurred to us that no invention could have been more fortunate, especially for a pretty woman afflicted with deafness.
She can not pleasantly use the snake auricular, because it frequently places her head in an ungraceful position, and if she happens to have large or ugly ears, it invites too much attention to that glaring defect.
It is well known that Pauline, the beautiful sister of Napoleon, had very large ears, and, at one time, a rude English lady almost drove the beautiful Pauline from the ball-room by exclaiming quite aloud: "Oh, what a monstrous ear!" This invited general attention to Pauline's large ears, and it annoyed her beyond measure.page 42
If a woman has a sea-shell of an ear she can use the Smith auricular with some satisfaction. Yet it is generally disagreeable for her to use it at all. A woman with a natural desire to conceal her infirmities does not wish people to know that she is at all deaf, as that implies some deterioration of her charms.
Now, the Audiphone invented by Mr. Rhodes, of Chicago genius, does away with all this misery and trouble. The woman can jauntily place the edges of the Audiphone upon her front teeth, and, if these teeth be white and fair, and her lips rosy and luscious, the Audiphone unconsciously invites special attention to her charms in that regard.
If she has beautiful eyes she can flash them upon the person with whom she is speaking, with much better effect with the Audiphone upon her teeth, than if she had to bend her head in using the ordinary auricular.
So, we think that Mr. Rhodes has been fortunate in introducing an invention for the bright and handsome woman of our grand land, who may, in some degree, be afflicted with an infirmity of hearing, and then, so far from depreciating her charms by the effort to hear, she will appear even more interesting, for thousands of our fairest women keep a fan in their hand for the purpose of adroitly inviting observation to their beautiful teeth, the fashion being to put one edge of the fan in the corner of the mouth, thus showing also the glowing radiance of their lips.
Now, in this nineteenth century, when so many efforts are made by the fair sex to beautify their forms and their faces, is it not most fortunate that a discovery has been made which takes away the edge of an infirmity and renders it possible that even a maiden who is touched with an infirmity of hearing may become a belle?
From the Christian Intelligencer.
A correspondent of the Christian Intelligencer writes: It may seem a small matter to speak of as an outcome of a great city's doings—but there is a room in New York where you may go to-day and sit and have a blessed revelation and thank God. One and another come in, bearing on their faces the peculiar lines which indicate the sadness and solicitude of deafness. They take into their hands what seems a curved fan, and rest it (as is the wont of those who fan themselves) against their lips, or rather seem to touch it gently to their teeth. Instantly a pleasing surprise pervades their countenance, and soon the sorrow lines smooth out of their brows and cheeks, not wholly from within but reflected from the speech and sounds about them. They hear! They are out of a long imprisonment, whose thick walls have shut from them the voices of men, or dulled them into a confused and distant murmur. One says (a young man), "I was receiving a large salary and saw a prosperous career before me, but I was forced to resign it all under the pressure of increasing deafness, and I have found myself strangely incapacitated for what I feel I could best do, and need to do for the sake of others as well as myself. And now I hear you all and could transact business with you as well as ever." Another says, "I went three times to church yesterday, as has been my wont, but I heard scarcely a word; but now I hear distinctly your ordinary tones." And the whole secret is in that little fan which each holds against his teeth. Are not the tailsmans of science working greater marvels than the babied genii, or the dreams of Arabian Nights? All this is but a faint preluding mutter of a great sea of blessed sound, which is to surge in upon myriads of relived hearts when the Audiphone makes itself heard as it makes men to hear.page 44
"A man deafer than Edison has shown, by the Audiphone, that people born deaf or made deaf by disease, can actually be made to hear to a greater or less extent."
—Detroit Free Press. Nov. 25, 1879.
"It is valuable, and will materially help in the education of children like those at the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, and will doubtless prove an effective aid to the many people of impaired hearing. Its discovery therefore is a cause for congratulation, and its attractive appearance and convenience for use, so different from the old-fashioned ear trumpet, will serve to bring it largely into use."
—Hartford (Conn.) Courant.
"Deaf mutes were able to hear the music of the piano when at a considerable distance from the instrument."
—N. Y. Observer's Report of Private Exhibition.
"This wonderful invention promises to be one of great value."
—Illustrated N. Y. Christian Weekly.
"Tests were satisfactorily applied to several members of a class of deaf mutes who were present, and the pleasure at hearing sound evinced by one young girl was most interesting and touching. A new organ, or a new use for an organ, is discovered, if not created."
—From Jenny June's Letter in Baltimore American. Dec. 1, 1879.
"At last the deaf are made to hear. Failing to hear through the front door of the ear the Audiphone carries it to the back."
—Concord (N. H.) Daily Monitor. Nov. 25.
"The deaf-mutes were enabled to distinguish the difference between sounds, and enjoyed the singing of one of the ladies."
—New York Tribune's Report of Exhibition. Nov. 22, 1879.
"The Audiphone, for the deaf, is likely to supersede the ear trumpet altogether; is not at all objectionable to carry or to use, and enables thousands who never heard a sound in their lives to distinguish letters, words and music for the first time."
—Church Union. November 29, 1879.
"In this invention Mr. Rhodes has proved himself a benefactor."
—The Standard. Sept 25, 1879.
"The fact of hearing through the medium of the teeth has long been known, but it has remained for the inventor of the Audiphone to utilize this fact for the benefit of the afflicted."
—New York Star. Nov. 22, 1879.
"A class of deaf-mutes from the Washington Heights Asylum were present, and the tests with them were quite satisfactory. Some heard the notes of the piano for the first time."
—New York Evangelist's Report of New York Exhibition. Nov. 27, 1879.
"Seems to discount any of the instruments invented by Edison to aid the hearing."
—New Orleans Times. Nov. 27, 1879.
"The invention will have practical value."
—New York Herald.
"It is all the inventor claims it to be."
Evansville (Ind.) Journal. Nov. 30, 1879.
"The Trial was an eminent success."
—Boston Traveler. Dec. 2, 1879.
"Has proved a signal success."
—Albany (N. Y.) Press.
"Would be easily mistaken for a fan."
—Democrat and Chronicle.
"In many cases of deafness, where the auditory nerve is impaired, the Audiphone can be of no avail; but where, as is often the case, the defect is only in those parts of the ear by which vibrations are conveyed to the nerve from without, this invention will prove a great boon."
—Washington (D. C.) Post. Oct. 27, 1879.
"Will practically restore to speech and hearing a large class of afflicted persons."
—Toronto (Canada) Mail. Dec. 5, 1879.
"Great benefit to those partially deaf."
—Providence (R. I.) Journal. Nov 6, 1879.
"Earlier reports are fully borne out by later experiments."
—Denver Times. December 6, 1879.
"A new and ingenious device by which the deaf are enabled to hear through the medium of the teeth."
—New York Graphic. Nov. 21, 1879.
"One of the wonders of this day of telephones, phonographs and the like, is the Audiphone, invented by Richard S. Rhodes, of Chicago, which enables deaf people to hear with their teeth. People who have once heard, but have grown deaf, and thus know the meaning of sounds and can talk themselves, practically have perfect hearing restored by the use of the Audiphone."
"Had it in our possession not more than two minutes before we were satisfied that it was at least all that we anticipated, but have since found it to be much superior to anticipations. Besides, we find it to improve by use, also to improve our natural hearing, which is remarkable."
—Editor Germantown Telegraphy Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1879.
"With a little practice the sounds thus received are interpreted the same as if they reached the nerves of hearing through the ear."