Remember the Charlie Chaplin film that some nutcase was convinced contained a cell phone-toting time traveler cameo? Turns out the device was likely just an oldschool hearing aid. Seen here looking exactly like something you'd try sticking your penis in even if you won't admit it, ear trumpets were the standard in late 19th/early 20th century aural aids. And, for the record, I said it was a shoe, so I'm taking 1/2 credit. No? 1/4? I'm cool with that.
What Clarke didn't consider was that a simple ear trumpet could still explain it all, said hearing device historians, who provided LiveScience with images of sample ear trumpets for comparison.
"As you can tell from these, old-fashioned mechanical or resonating hearing aids were not necessarily long and rounded," said Philip Skroska, an archivist at the Bernard Becker Medical Library of Washington University in St. Louis. "Short, compact rectangular forms were not unusual."
In other words, they could look something like a cell phone to imaginative YouTube viewers in the 21st century.
"...they could look something like a cell phone to imaginative YouTube viewers"? Um, no. Unimaginitive YouTube viewers might think it looks like a cell phone, imaginative viewers would think the government implanted a mind-control device in the woman's head that tells her to put her hand up to her ear and wet her pants every fifteen minutes. Just sayin', I know people like that.
Thanks to Erica, who has 20/20 hearing and agrees your voice sounds like a witch scraping her fingernails down a chalkboard.