US 2267489 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 23, 1941.
J. B' BROCKHURST CONTROL DEVICE FOR HEARING AIDS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 20, 1938 INVENTOR yam 4 z.. ATTORN Y Patented Dec. 23, 1941 CONTROL DEVICE FOR HEARING AIDS AND THE LIKE James B. Brookhurst, Red Bank, N. J.
Application October 20, 1938, Serial No. 235,932
My invention relates to improvements in control devices for use in connection with hearing aids adapted to be activated by dry or wet cells, but manifestly the invention is not limited to such use.
The object of my invention is to provide an improved device of simple construction whereby the life of the operating cell or cells may be substantially prolonged and interference by extraneous noises may be minimized or eliminated. For example, in the event that extraneous noises interfere with the uses of the hearing aid, the resistance may be diminished to enable the user of the hearing aid device to hear conversation near the device over loud noises produced at a distance; and, in the event that the user may want to eliminate extraneous noise while he is not speaking the control device may be operated to break the circuit. My improved device is adapted for use as a make and break switch whereby the full current of the cell or cells may be turned on or off and may include a suitable rheostat by which a graduated current may be utilized both selectively and progressively. I propose the application of my improved switch in two separate but allied forms. With the first and preferred construction I form the switch of two parts, one being adapted to be carried from the users thumb and the other preferably adapted to be used upon the index finger, whereby contact may be readily made or broken by bringing the thumb into or out of contact with the index finger and resistance in the circuit may be selected at will.
With the second form of the invention I mount the two elements of the switch upon the index finger of the hand and manipulate the movable element of the switch by the action of the thumb or vice versa.
It thus becomes possible by use of either of these forms to readily and simply disconnect the operated circuit at any time that conversation stops or when the user of the hearing aid is talking, the circuit being re-established whenever the users companion is about to speak as will be determined .by simply observing the movement of the lips of the speaker which precedes the reception of the sound waves.
In order that my invention may be better understood, attention is directed to the accompanying drawing forming a part of this specification and in which Figure 1 is a perspective View of one of the users hands, showing the circuit broken and illustrating the invention in its preferred form.
Figure 2 is a similar view of the same device illustrating the closing of the circuit.
Figure 3 a similar view illustrating a modified form of the invention showing the circuit open and Figure 4 a sectional view of the detached device of Figure 3.
In all of the above views corresponding parts are represented by the same numeral.
Referring first to Figures 1 and 2 the numeral l represents a metallic element arranged to be retained upon the users thumb by means of two clips 2-2 encircling the thumb and an integral bent over portion 3 passing around the end of the thumb adjacent to the nail thereof as shown in Figure 2. One of the line wires 4 of the hearing aid or other appliance leads from the element 1 as shown. This element is made of slightly ductile metal so that it can be molded to fit the wearers thumb and remain firmly in position thereon.
The second element 5 is indicated in black being insulating material, and is adapted to fit upon the wearers index finger. Preferably the element 5 carries a resistance wire 6 coiled around the body 1 of the element 5 and attached at its upper end with the other line wire 8 to the hearing aid. By bringing the thumb to the position shown in Figure 2 element I will make contact with any desired portion of the rheostat wire 6 thus closing the circuit to the hearing aid.
With the arrangement shown in Figures 3 and 4 the entire device may be mounted upon the index finger of the users hand. A slider 9 is mounted on the coil 6 and connects with the circuit wire 4 whereby by manipulating the slider by the thumb the cell or cells of the battery will be connected in or disconnected from the circuit of the hearing aid or similar device and the resistance will be varied as desired.
It will be evident that in conversation the user of the hearing aid device may be observing the lips of another person engaged in such conversation close the circuit substantially instantaneously when he observes that the other person is starting to speak and may break the circuit substantially instantaneously when he sees that the other person has stopped speaking. In this way the battery charge may be conserved and the user of the hearing aid, when not listening to one near at hand, may shut off all sound which he does not desire to hear. It will also be evident that by varying the current the speech of one close at hand may be amplified so as to be heard over noises coming from more distant points.
Having now described my invention what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is as follows:
In a hearing aid device energized through an electric circuit, controlling means comprising two contact devices, and yieidable means whereby one of said contact devices may be attached to a finger and the other may be attached to the thumb of the same hand so that theymay readily be moved into and out of contact, one of said contact devices comprising an elongated insulating member and a resistance wire wound around such member in separated coils so that the resistance may be varied by engaging different coils of the contact device provided therewith, by the other contact device.
JAMES B. BROCKHURST.