The Ear trumpet
(or Ear Horn) is a very old-fa--
HM?! WHAT'S THAT, SPEAK UP, BOY!!
Ahem. The Ear trumpet
(or Ear Horn) is a very old-fashioned type of hearing aid that was fir--
WHAT?! YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK LOUDER, SONNY!!
The Ear trumpet (or Ear Horn) is a very old-fashioned type of hearing aid that was first invented in the 17th century. For the most part, they exist only as relics of older eras. However, they still serve a purpose in fiction.
DANGIT, KIDDO. YOU'RE SPEAKING TOO LOUD! THESE OLD EARS ARE SENSITIVE YOU KNOW!
Oh for the love of--
There are usually three types of Ear Trumpets in fiction:
- Type 1: Serving an accurate role in a Period Piece, where they reflect the setting.
- Type 2: Used for comedic effect, to make it obvious that the person cannot hear.
- Type 3: Another comedic usage, usually to illustrate how ridiculously old a character is.
- Old timers in Lucky Luke are often seen with these, especially if said geezers are weakened to wheelchair condition. Usually the ear trumpet user still cannot hear and has to rely on someone else to personally deliver "what he says".
- Type 2: Professor Calculus uses one in Destination Moon (which gets switched out at one point for the Captain's pipe). For the actual trip, he uses an earpiece that allows him to hear perfectly. Needless to say, later albums return him to his hard-of-hearing state.
- There's an old character in The Quiet Man that uses one.
- An old man in Wild Wild West is briefly seen with one, tipping out accumulated ear wax for disgusting effect.
- In King's Quest V Graham encounters an old hermit that uses a conch seashell as one. Without it the only thing he can hear is the incredibly loud bell he has hanging outside his door.
- Abe Simpson has used one in the Simpsons. Abe's age is a frequent point of comedy.
- Professor Frink uses an ear trumpet as an echolocation device to find the kids in town who are running a pirate radio station giving away all the adults' secrets.
- A Looney Tunes cartoon Now Hear This had an old man finding a new ear trumpet in place of his old and worn-out one. He is overjoyed to have a new shiny trumpet, but it is, in fact, Satan's lost horn, and it has the old man's world turn into a synesthetic, nightmarish acid trip sequence.
WHAT?! COULD YOU REPEAT ALL THAT?! I WASN'T USING MY TRUMPET!