'Time Traveler' Likely Using Hearing Aid

Rumors of cell-phone use in 1928 film off-base, say experts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2010 7:39 AM CDT

A clip of what appears to be a woman chatting on a cell phone—in 1928—has made waves across the Internet, but experts say she’s probably just using a hearing aid. The filmmaker who presented the clip ruled out such a device because of its shape, but actually, “short, compact rectangular forms were not unusual” for old-time hearing aids, said an archivist. (Click here to see what they looked like.)

LiveScience reports that 19th-century-style ear trumpets were produced into the early 20th century, and the lady in the clip is probably past 50, “so using a late 19th-century design in 1928 would not be a stretch,” the archivist added. Still, he’s not sure why the woman appears to be talking into the device. Possible hearing-aid explanation No. 2: It's a 1924 Siemens heading aid, pocket-sized, rectangular amplifier which a person would hold to her ear to use. Check it out here.
(More time travel stories.)

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