The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
87/621 Medical instrument, bell ear trumpet, hearing aid, electroplated nickel-silver / ivory, made by F.C. Rein & Son, 108 The Strand, London, England, 1860-1864. Click to enlarge.

Mary Hyde’s bell ear trumpet

Made 1860-1864

This beautifully engraved silver ear trumpet is an early type of hearing aid. It was the work of F.C. Rein & Son, aurists and acoustic instrument makers of 108 Strand, London, and made between 1860 and 1864. By cupping a hand around the ear improved hearing by five percent. So in the 19th century a whole series of trumpets, horns, under-beard listeners and top hats with discreet ear pieces were devised for the hearing impaired. It was not until 1901 that the first electronic hearing aid was pa...

Summary

Object No.

87/621

Object Statement

Medical instrument, bell ear trumpet, hearing aid, electroplated nickel-silver / ivory, made by F.C. Rein & Son, 108 The Strand, London, England, 1860-1864

Physical Description

Medical instrument, bell ear trumpet, hearing aid, electroplated nickel-silver / ivory, made by F.C. Rein & Son, 108 The Strand, London, England, 1860-1864

Dimensions

Height

160 mm

Width

75 mm

Production

Made

1860-1864

Notes

This ear trumpet was the work of F.C. Rein & Son, aurists and acoustic instrument makers of 108 Strand, London, and made between 1860 and about 1864.

This type of ear trumpet is known as a bell resonator style, London Dome or Grand Opera Dome type because of its similarity in shape to the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in London. The ivory ear tip sat inside the ear canal. The ear trumpet acted to amplify sounds down the tube

History

Notes

This bell-shaped ear trumpet was reputedly used by Mary Lord, widow of the famous Sydney businessmen Simeon Lord. and is a part of the 'Simeon Lord- Mary Hyde' collection of early colonial artefacts. Simeon Lord was a convict who went on to earn his freedom and become one of Sydney's pre-eminent businessmen. Mary Hyde was his wife but marriage to this important figure in Sydney's history was not Mary's sole claim to fame, as her life was equally remarkable, particularly given the restriction upon women in this period. She was born Mary Hyde, in England in 1779, and at the age of 17 was convicted of stealing clothing and was transported to Sydney in 1798, two years later.

Marriage to Simeon Lord was not Mary's sole claim to fame, as her life was equally remarkable, particularly given the restriction upon women in this period. She was born Mary Hyde, in England in 1779, and at the age of 17 was convicted of stealing clothing and was transported to Sydney in 1798, two years later.

Like the other 95 female convicts on the Brittania II, Mary was auctioned to be a servant, wife or hut-keeper for the males of the colony. In 1798 she met and started a relationship with a ship's officer, John Black, and gave birth to two of his children. She raised both children almost exclusively by herself as her husband was away for long periods before he eventually died on a voyage back from India, in 1802. His death was not officially acknowledged until 1804, and Mary continued on in the house and shop on the land leased in Black's name.

Sometime around 1805 Mary started a relationship with Simeon Lord, an ex-convict and former business associate of John Black. Lord became step-father to Mary's two children and Mary became mother to a young girl Lord had adopted. In 1806 Mary bore the first of 10 children to Lord and together they earned enough to be counted among the richest in the colony. In 1814 their partnership became legal when Mary and Simeon were married at St Phillip's Church in Sydney. In the 1820s the family moved to 'Banks House' in the Sydney suburb of Botany near the site of their woollen factory.

In 1840 Simeon Lord died and under the terms of the will Mary was made executor of the estate, making Mary one of the wealthiest women in the colony. She continued to manage Lord's affairs after his death and employed many people in the Botany factory before it was closed by the flooding of her land as a part of the Sydney Water Board's development of the area. Mary took the Board to court to get compensation and four years later won the case; she was eventually awarded over £15,000, a sum equivalent to millions of dollars today.

Mary died in December 1864, leaving her estate to all her children in an attempt to ensure the daughters were treated equally and could manage their inheritance in their own right. Unfortunately this was not possible in the eyes of the law and the money passed into the hands of male heirs and husbands.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mr John And Mrs Lloyd Ramsay, 1987

Acquisition Date

26 May 1987

Cite this Object

Harvard

Mary Hyde's bell ear trumpet 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 February 2020, <https://ma.as/76869>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/76869 |title=Mary Hyde's bell ear trumpet |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 February 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US