This listing is for an extremely rare medical device for deaf individuals patented September 23 1879 by deaf inventor R.S. Rhodes, #2149 trade mark AUDIPHONE. This was found with original grosgrain and silk black case. From the internet New York Times article November 22, 1879:
THE INSTRUMENT CONSISTS ESSENTIALLY OF A DIAPHRAGM OF HARD RUBBER, SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THE DIAPHRAGM OF A TELEPHONE AND SAID TO BE OF PECULIAR COMPOSITION. THIS DIAPHRAGM IS VERY THIN AND ELASTIC, AND CUT IN THE FORM OF A SQUARE WITH ROUNDED CORNERS, SO AS TO PRESENT A COLLECTING SURFACE OF NOT FAR FROM ONE SQUARE FOOT. FOR PURPOSES OF CONVENIENT ADJUSTMENT IT IS FURNISHED WITT A NEAT, HARD RUBBER (GUTTA PERCHA) HANDLE, AND IN THIS FORM MIGHT READILY BE MISTAKEN FOR A FAN OF THE ORDINARY JAPANESE PATTERN. WHEN IN USE THE EDGES OF THE DIAPHRAGM ARE MADE TO APPROXIMATE TOWARD EACH OTHER BY A SILKEN CORD, SO AS TO PRESENT A CONVEX SURFACE TO THE SPEAKER AND A CONCAVE ONE TO THE LISTENER. THE CORD MAY BE FASTENED AT ANY CONVENIENT CONVEXITY OF THE SURFACE OF THE AUDITORY DISC. WHEN THUS ADJUSTED, THE UPPER EDGE IS PRESSED FIRMLY AGAINST THE INFERIOR EDGE OF THE UPPER TEETH, AND THE DEAF-MUTE IS READY TO LISTEN. THE MOST SATISFACTORY RESULTS OBTAINED WERE THOSE IN WHICH THE CONGENITALLY DEAF MEMBERS OF THE CLASS WERE THE SUBJECTS OF EXPERIMENT, DEAFNESS FROM DISEASE FREQUENTLY INVOLVING LOSS OF SENSIBILTY IN THE AUDITORY NERVE RATHER THAN INJURY TO THE BONY OR MEMBRANEOUS STRUCTURES CONCERNED IN HEARING".
The article does not describe the metal plate on the top of the audiphone whereby the deaf individual places his/her teeth. All items descibed are present although there is a small crack in the diaphragm on one side which I have tried to photograph. Photographed with and without flash attachment. 15x81/4" audiphone. Case has one side with stiffener as originally made.
One other article states that deaf Chicago resident Rhodes experimented in the early 1870's with a vulcanized rubber fan with wooden handle. By 1879 mail order sales took off at $10 each ($15 for a Double Audiphone "for Deaf Mutes, enabling them to hear their own voices". Classes of deaf children were seen and photographed in the press, fans clenched in their mouths, hearing music for the first time.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I END AN AUCTION EARLY IF REQUESTED. PLEASE DO NOT ASK.
As photographed and as found. In THIS listing I have added additional photographs after this description. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN THE ENTIRE PAGE TO SEE THESE ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS. Buyer pays postage.
When using PayPal as method of payment ALL PACKAGES MUST HAVE DELIVERY CONFIRMATION which will be included in the postage. PLEASE EMAIL ME ABOUT ANY OTHER POSTAL OPTIONS. I can not accept responsibility for items lost or damaged in the post, although I will do my best to assist with the making of any claims.
FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: BOTH PayPal and eBay REQUIRE TRACKING NUMBERS IN CASE AN ITEM IS LOST, AND THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT CUSTOMS NUMBER AS A TRACKING NUMBER! THIS MEANS EITHER EXPRESS MAIL or PRIORITY MAIL WITH REGISTRATION. NO INTERNATIONAL MAIL WILL BE SENT WITHOUT TRACKING.
IN ADDITION TO EBAY AND PAYPAL NOTIFICATION OF WIN I WILL ALSO SEND AN INVOICE THROUGH EBAY. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL I SEND MY INVOICE OUT BEFORE PAYING FOR ITEM. IN MY INVOICE I WILL ADJUST POSTAGE IF NECESSARY INCLUDING INSURANCE FOR ITEMS OVER $100 AND CHANGE POSTAGE IF BUYER EMAILS ME IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE AUCTION AND WANTS ITEM (IF POSSIBLE)SENT PARCEL POST, MEDIA RATE, ETC.
IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM ME WITHIN THREE DAYS AFTER CLOSE OF AUCTION PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER OR REQUEST CONTACT INFORMATION AND TELEPHONE ME DIRECTLY. IN THE EVENT AFTER PACKAGING THE PACKAGE IS OVERSIZED AND THERE IS A SURCHARGE BY THE POST OFFICE I WILL SEND THE WINNING PARCEL POST THROUGH THE POST OFFICE. SURCHARGES ARE SOMETIMES MORE THAN $25-$35 EXTRA POSTAGE.
IN THE EVENT OF A REFUND I CAN NOT REIMBURSE POSTAGE COSTS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
I WORK ON THE COMPUTER THREE DAYS A WEEK AND WILL ANSWER EMAILS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DID YOU KNOW?If a seller receives more than a few DETAILED SELLER RATINGS (DSR) OF LESS THAN 5, Then they will be significantly penalized. YOU MAY THINK YOU ARE LEAVING A REASONABLE RATING BY GIVING A SELLER DSR'S OF 4'S, BUT ebay's FEEDBACK SYSTEM TREATS ANYTHING LESS THAT 5'S AS SUBSTANDARD AND PENALIZES SELLERS FOR DSR RATINGS THAT AVERAGE UNDER 4.60. If there are any problems please email me and I will try to work them out with you.