Hearing aids and the history of electronics miniaturization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrical hearing aids were the principal site for component miniaturization and compact assembly before World War II. After the war, hearing aid users became the first consumer market for printed circuits, transistors, and integrated circuits. Due to the stigmatization of hearing loss, users generally demanded small or invisible devices. In addition to being early adopters, deaf and hard of hearing people were often the inventors, retailers, and manufacturers of miniaturized electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5771310
Pages (from-to)24-44
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • assistive technologies
  • disability studies
  • hearing aids
  • history of computing
  • history of computing hardware
  • history of technology
  • microelectronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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