Home  / A.2004.0006

Michael Martin, Hearing Aid Archive

Level of description
Reference code
Extent and medium
11 boxes
Administrative / Biographical History
Dr Michael Martin OBE founded the Dr Mike Martin Consultancy which specialised in the subject of hearing aids. Initially Martin was employed by the Admiralty Research Laboratories as an Assistant Scientific, responsible for researching underwater sound from ships and submarines, before moving to work for the Royal National Institute of the Deaf, joining in 1959 as a Technical Officer.

Martin worked for the Institute until 1993. In 1962, he started an audiometer calibration service for England and Wales in response to the problems of poor maintenance of hearing test equipment being identified by the National Physical Laboratory. He then established a Hearing Aid Test Service to meet a growing demand from hearing aid users. This demand continued to such an extent that by 1967 Martin was getting 3,000 telephone calls and 3,000 letters. In 1966 Mike created a magazine called 'Sound' which later evolved into the British Journal of Audiology. As part of the Technical Department at RNID, Martin was involved in the manufacture of fire warning systems, baby alarms and alarm clocks, during the 1970s. In 1978, Martin and his team was involved in an appeal by the BBC's 'Blue Peter' programme to purchase and equip mobile test vans for use by the National Deaf Children's Society. Martin was involved in creating the Telephone Exchange for Deaf People, which evolved into Typetalk in 1990, with funding from British Telecom.

Martin was awarded an OBE for his work with deaf people in 1977, and wrote over more than 50 scientific papers and several books on audiology, which are included in this collection.
Scope and content
Collection of documents compiled by Dr Michael Martin relating to the subject of hearing aids. The collection consists of 11 boxes.

Box 1
Two files of documents relating to versions of the Medresco Hearing Aid device produced by the National Health Service, including product diagrams, specifications, fitting notes, information sheets, guidance notes and research reports for Medresco hearing products OL35 and 35A, OL56 and 57, BE10 Series, OL67, OL27X, OL15 and OL15A, OL25 and OL25A, OL44X, OL58 and OL58C, OL63, OL66 and BE30, copy of course notes for the National Physical Laboratory Audiometric Calibration Techniques Course held at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington on 11-12 June 1997, copy of dissertation submitted by Sandra D. Woods submitted to the University of Surrey in 1993 titled 'The Measurement of Ambient Magnetic Noise with Relevance to Hearing Aid Users' and correspondence compiled by Martin relating to Woods' dissertation, and folders of journals, product and trade literature, articles on the history of hearing aids, copy of the Hearing Aid Council Act 1968, copy of 'Visible Speech Manual' authored by George A. Kopp, Harriet Green Kopp and Angelo Angelocci, copy of Mullard guide to Hearing Aid Amplifier Circuits, copy of research paper produced by the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research titled 'The Effects of Hearing Aid Frequency Response Modification Upon Speech Reception' (December 1978), copy of report by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf titled 'Hearing Aids: Their Production, Delivery Systems and Effective Use' (May 1991), articles recording the history of hearing aids produced by the National Health Service, article in Which? magazine about the effectiveness of using hearing aids (February 1973), copy of report by the European Commission on the use of text telephone systems in Europe titled 'If I call, who can answer?' (1991), advertising brochures for hearing aid products, copy of EHIMA GSM Project Final Report by Telecom Danmark for hearing aids and mobile telephones (1995), copy of report by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf titled 'Hearing Aid: The Case for Change' (1988), booklet titled '15 Auraltone Exercises for Improving Your Hearing', report by the Royal National Institute of the Deaf titled 'Hearing Aids' (April 1966), survey of NHS Heading Aid Services produced by the Royal National Institute of the Deaf in 1984, brochure by Electro-Acoustic Limited advertising Phonak hearing aids, catalogue of hearing aids sold by the Royal National Institute of the Deaf (1991), press release reporting on the inaugural meeting of the International Society for Historic Hearing Devices held in St. Louis, USA in 2002, instructions for use for the Polyfan Popular Hearing Aid, brochure by the Royal National Institute of the Deaf promoting ways of hearing television and audio sound more easily, instructions for using a Zenith headband, report by the European Commission titled 'Is Anyone Answering? A review of telephone amplification for hearing-impaired people' (1990), instruction manual for Phillips Hearing Aid products, photocopies of international standard regulations for disabled access, danger signals and acoustics, correspondence between Martin and Michael Clark MP relating to the problem of interference caused by using mobile phones and hearing aids at the same time.

Box 2:
Ring binder of British Standard documents relating to the production of physical aids for disabled persons, ring binder containing nomenclature documents and thesauri for medical devices, International Standard documents for the production of sound system equipment - headphones and earphones (1996), copy of International Technoelectrical Commission report titled 'Microphones and earphones for speech communications' (1997), folder of articles and press releases relating to mobile phones being used by people with hearing impairments, copy of the Federal Communications Commission report and order in the matter of the Commission's Rules governing hearing aid-compatible telephones released in August 2003, literature survey of the hazards of hearing equipment used by personal cassette players produced by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (1990), brochure by British Telecom titled 'BT Age and Disability Action: How to Hear Better on the phone', booklet authored by Jean Courtois titled 'Earwax and foreign bodies in the ear canal', copy of memorandum published by the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research titled 'Quantities, Units and Preferred Terminology in hearing and subjective acoustics' (November 1982), paper by The Nordic Committee on Disability titled 'Nordic requirement specifications on technical aids for hearing-improved aids' (1996), paper by Dr Alan Hart titled 'Co-operation in the Standardisation of Ear Simulators' (2000), summary report by the Office of Communications titled 'Research into the acoustic coupling of telephone receivers and hearing aids', audio cassettes and tape reels of Boothroyd Word Lists, Tinnitus Demonstration cassette tape produced by the British Tinnitus Association, Music Demonstration cassette tape produced by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, cassette tape illustrating the problems of hearing loss. The box contains 11 cassette tapes and 1 reel of tape.

Box 3:
Box 3 contains vinyl records and papers. The vinyl records include: ‘de Wolfe sound effects’, ‘Great Italian Love Songs: 20 Original Hits by Famous Artists’, ‘Getting Through: A guide to better understanding of the hard of hearing’, ‘Demonstration Record: Bass Viol (Unaccompanied)’, ‘Demonstration Record: Violin (Unaccompanied)’, ‘New Techniques in Audiometry by Amplivox’, ‘London Brighton Camberley’. The papers include research papers authored by Martin, titles include ‘An Evaluation of the Physical Design of Hearing Aids worn by Children: A Report to the D.H.S.S. on a Survey of the Opinions of Teachers and Parents’ (February 1982), ‘How Policies and Practices in the UK Effect the Delivery of Assistive Devices to Hearing Impaired People’ (presented in Florida, February 1985), ‘Automatic Gain Control in hearing aids: Listener ratings and preferences for different performance characteristics’ (May 1983), papers compiled by Martin relating to changes in the Code of Practice for the Hearing Aid Council, correspondence, journal articles, product catalogues, Oticon slide rule audiogram keys, notes on occupational deafness produced by the Department of Health and Social Security, advertising leaflets, newspaper cuttings, progress report produced by Martin to the Department of Health and Social Security evaluating the Zwislocki twin-ear coupler (1974), report on research undertaken at the Frank Barnes School for the deaf (1973), induction loop signs created by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, guidance on hearing aid technology produced by the NHS, report by Martin for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf titled ‘Hearing Impairment and Guide Dog Clients’ (September 1993), paper produced by the Hearing Concern seminar held in London on 12 February 2000, titled ‘Digital Mobile Phones: will hearing aid wearers get a fair deal?’, black and white photograph of Blue Peter key-note vans (mobile classrooms for deaf children).

Box 4
Information leaflets produced by the RNID relating to the ear and hearing, literature for hearing aid products, diagrams of the human ear, British Standard specifications for acoustics, document titled ‘A Study of Sound Balances for the Hard of Hearing’ conducted by the BBC Research Department, newspaper cuttings, RNID factsheets relating to hearing aids, ring binder of guidelines produced by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) relating to guidelines for symbols to identify telecommunications facilities for deaf and hard of hearing people and guidelines for telecommunication relay services for text telephones and guidelines for telephony for hearing impaired people, ring binder of standards for hearing aids from international standards organisations (Acoustical Society of America, Nordic Co-operation on Disability, International Electrotechnical Commission, British Standard Institute, European Telecommunications Standards Institute, Nordtest Method, Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand), ring binder of standards relating to acoustics produced by international standards organisations (British Society of Audiology, International Standard, British Standard, European Committee for Standardisation, Danish Standards Association).

Box 5
Lever arch file of documents relating to hearing aids (circa 1940s-1960s), including a sample of the Maico Hearing Aid Loss Calculator, a folder titled ‘Audiometers’ containing catalogues and photographs of Audiometers, a folder titled ‘photographs’ containing photographs of hearing aid devices being tested on adults and children, British Standard Reports on specifications for audiometers, acoustic reports compiled by the National Physical Laboratory (1973-1985), report by Martin and P W Stevenson titled ‘Phonemic Discrimination Difficulties and Sensorineural Hearing Loss’ published by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf in 1977, biography of Martin, history of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf between 1945 and 1959, reports on the measurements of hearing aids, copy of the Medical Research Council special report into hearing aids (1947), copy of Hearing Aid Performance Measurement Data produced by the Veterans Administration (1970), copy of the book ‘Hearing Tests and Hearing Aids: A Clinical and Experimental Study’ by Lennart Holmgren (1939), copy of the Medical Research Council report of the Hearing Committee for Hearing and Speech in Deaf Children (1937), copy of the Australian Hearing Services Annual Report for 1996-1997, copy of The Physical Society report of a discussion on audition held in London in 1931, copy of research report into the selection of hearing aids undertaken by Harvard University (1945), and books including ‘Hearing Aids: An Experimental Study of Design Objectives’ (1947), ‘Acoustical Techniques and Transducers’ (1961), ‘Amplification for the Hearing-Impaired’ (1980), ‘Electroacoustic characteristics relevant to hearing aids’ (1971), ‘Papers presented at the 3rd and 4th Oticongress’ (1973, 1975), ‘Speech and Hearing in Communication’ (1953), ‘Disorders of Auditory Function: Proceedings of the British Society of Audiology Conference’ (1973), ‘Disorders of Auditory Function II: Proceedings of the British Society of Audiology Second Conference’ (1975), ‘Dictionary of Hearing’ (written by Martin and Ian Summers, 1999), ‘Deafness: Fifth Edition’ (written by Martin, John Ballantyne and Anthony Martin, 1993), ‘Sensorineural Hearing Impairment and Hearing Aids’ (1978), ‘Handbook of Hearing Aid Amplification, Volume 1’ (1988), ‘Disorders of Auditory Function III’ (1980), ‘Hearing instrument technology for the hearing healthcare professional’ (1995), ‘Hearing Aids, Lipreading and Clear Speech’ (1967), Bell Telephone System report titled ‘The Mechanism of Hearing’ (1938), Medical Research Council report titled ‘The Localisation of Sound’ (1936), Board of Education Report of the Committee of Inquiry into problems relating to Children with Defective Hearing (1938).

Box 6
Purple lever arch file of documents compiled by Martin including correspondence from Hearing Concern thanking him for his assistance, journal articles written by Martin for the British Journal of Audiology, Journal of Laryngology and Otology, British Tinnitus Association, Hearing Aid Journal and Royal National Institute for the Deaf, photograph of Martin receiving a cheque from the Yellow Pages organisation, copies of the British Journal of Audiology supplement published in February 1980, list of papers and joint papers published by Martin between 1963 and 1976. Folder of hearing aid advertisements, including magazine supplements and newspaper cuttings; photographs of Martin; photographs of hearing aid products including in-ear devices and alarm clocks; menu card and table plan for a jubilee luncheon for the National Institute for the Deaf attended by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1961, pamphlet recording the history of the British Standards Institute. Copy of book ‘Hearing in Adults’ by Adrian Davis (1995), which contains annotations by Martin.

Box 7
Black ring binder file of documents relating to standards for the intended use of ear simulators. Includes British Standards guidelines for the intended use of human head and ear simulators, international standards for conference systems’ electrical and audio requirements, British Standard specification for artificial mastoids for the calibration of bone vibrators used in hearing aids and audiometers, American National Standard methods for coupler calibration of earphones, International Telecommunication Union standards for telephone transmission quality, International Electrotechnical Commission reference coupler for the measurement of hearing aids (1961).
Red ring binder file titled ‘Audiometer Standards’. Includes national and international standards relevant to audiology by the National Physical Laboratory, British Standard guidelines for electroacoustics and audiological equipment, International Electrotechnical Commission standards for the use of audiometers, American National Standard specification for audiometers, British Standard specification for instruments for the measurement of aural acoustic impedance/admittance, international recommendation for the use of pure-tone audiometers produced by the Organisation Internationale de Metrologie Legale.
Black lever arch folder (now rehoused into two archive folders) titled ‘Mobile Phone Interference with Hearing Aids’. Includes a copy of the HAMPIIS project report investigating the problem of interference from digital mobile telephones on hearing aids, Radio Frequency Hearing Impaired Committee report on “Digital Mobile – Meeting the needs of Hearing Impaired People”, correspondence and articles on the subject of compatibility between mobile phones and hearing aids, RNID leaflets introducing accessories enabling hearing aid wearers to use digital mobile phones, Telematics Applications Programme reports edited by Martin relating to interference impact on hearing aids, report by the National Acoustic Laboratories titled ‘Interference to Hearing Aids by the Digital Mobile Telephone System, Global System for Mobile Communications (1995), notes on meetings to discuss interference problems to hearing aids, results from a hearing aid user trial on the Cellnet GSM network (1993), reports by The Mike Martin Consultancy titled ‘Digital Mobile Telephones and Hearing Aids’.
Loose items: Copy of ‘Hearing Test Cards’ published by The Royal National Institute for the Deaf, procedures, standards and reports for hearing aids tests, leaflet ‘A Guide to Noise Units’ produced by the Noise Advisory Council, National Physical Laboratory points of contact brochure (2005), British Society of Audiology Membership Directory 2000, British Standard documents relating to electroacoustics, British Standard specifications for the verification of sound level meters, international standards for electroacoustics by the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Box 8
Books and reports, including: ‘Speech Audiometry, Second Edition’ edited by Martin, ‘Presbyacusis and other age related aspects, 14th Danavox Symposium, 1990’ edited by Janne Hartvig Jensen, Recent developments in hearing instrument technology, 15th Danavox Symposium, 1993’ edited by Joel Beilin and Gert R. Jensen, '‘Guidelines for Medicolegal Practice: Assessment of Hearing Disability’ by King, Coles, Lutman and Robinson, ‘Hearing Aid Fitting: Theoretical and Practical Views, 13th Danavox Symposium, 1988’ edited by Janne Hartvig Jensen, ‘Handbook of Noise Measurement’ by Arnold Peterson and Ervin Gross, ‘Tactile Aids for the Hearing Impaired’ edited by Ian R. Summers, ‘Research in the development of effective services for hearing-impaired people (Fifth H.M. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Fellowship)’ by Professor Mark Haggard, ‘Cochlear Implants: A Practical Guide’ edited by Huw Cooper, Hearing Aid Handbook of Measurement 1979’ by Veterans’ Administration, ‘Direct Referral Systems for Hearing Aid Provision’ by David Reeves, Linda Mason, Helen Prosser and Chris Kiernan, ‘Scientific Foundations of Otolaryngology’ edited by Ronald Hinchcliffe and Donald Harrison, ‘Aural Rehabilitation with Adults (Seminars in Hearing Journal, Volume 18, Number 2, May 1997)’, ‘Some Aspects of Methodology in Speech Audiometry: Studies of reliability, computer simulations and development of a new speech material for measuring speech reception threshold in noise’ by Bjorn Hagerman, ‘The Provision of Earmoulds in the United Kingdom: A survey for the Department of Health’ by V.M. Evans, M. Nolan and E.C. Combe. Box also contains a guide to users of the Grason-Stadler Model 1720 Otoadmittance Meter, booklets produced by Bruel and Kjaer, titles include ‘Measurements in Building Acoustics’, ‘Impedance of Real and Artificial Ears’, ‘Standards, formulae and charts: Excerpts from international standardization on acoustical and mechanical measurements; ‘Environmental Noise Measurement’, ‘Measuring Sound’, ‘Sound Intensity’, ‘Industrial Noise Control and Hearing Testing’; Noise and Vibration Pocket Handbook produced by Bruel and Kjaer; copy of Martin’s article ‘Listening Levels through Hearing Aids: A Difference of Opinion’ published in Scandinavian Audiology journal (1977); copy of ‘Journal of Audiological Technique: Zeitschrift fur Horgerate-Akustik’ (1979); reports from the World Health Organization relating to hearing aids, 1997-2001; sales catalogues produced by Varta: The Battery Experts and P.C. Werth; ‘Technical Awareness Bulletin’ produced by The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (including test reports, product reviews and consumer guides); and Martin’s copy of the Knowles Hearing Aid Products Data Manual, 1998.

Box 9
Books, including: ‘The Evolution of the Norwegian Classification System for Medical Equipment’ by Boe, Fields, Larsen and Randa; ‘Adapto: The Authorized Biography’ by Angela R. Lonberg, ‘Nomenklatur for medisinsk utstyr’ (Nomenclature for medical equipment) by Norwegian Nomenclature, ‘Handbook of Audiological Techniques’ by Deborah Ballantyne, ‘Hearing Conservation: A Practical Manual and Guide’ by Donald C. Gasaway, ‘Ballantyne’s Deafness, Sixth Edition’ edited by John Graham and Mike Martin, 'Guidelines for Medicolegal Practice: Assessment of Hearing Disability' by King, Coles, Luttman and Robinson, 'Noise Control: Principles and Practice' by Bruel and Kjaer, and 'Antique Hearing Devices' by Elisabeth Bennion.

Box 10-11
Hearing Aid Devices.
Conditions governing access
Parts of this collection contains Data Protection restrictions - contact Collections team for more details.
Conditions governing reproduction
Not permitted
English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Finnish