The National Association of Manufacturers [NAM] has a great video series on their website: Cool Stuff Being Made. They almost never feature medgadgets being made, but this week we’ve got a gem: a vintage piece from “Industry on Parade,” a show hosted by the NAM back in the 50’s. The product: Hearing aids.
This one shows hearing aids being made at the Solitone (sp?) Company in Elmsburg, New York. You see what passes for high-tech and miniaturization back then. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the narrator refer to the “girls” who are dong the assembly. He also notes that the diverse pieces of the assembly process are “brought together by intelligent management.” This was clearly the pre-Dilbert era.
It ends with a tug on the patriotic heartstrings — as if “Hearing for the Deaf” isn’t enough to tug on the heartstrings — showing a battleship and planes flying overhead. All a part of the times.
I particularly got a kick out of how they tied all the medical research back to military applications. Definitely a sign of the times, as now that paradigm is pretty much reversed. New medical technologies are being born out of programs run by DARPA.
Link to the NAM blog (the video is SO worth 4 minutes, 29 seconds of your time)