Ear Trumpets - Medresco
Medresco (MEDical RESearch COuncil) and the Department of Health & Social Security (later NHS) provided free ear trumpets from 1948 to 1976.

Medresco hearing aid type numbers all began with the letters "OL" followed by some numbers.

Date marking of later Medresco trumpets follows the simple pattern of MONTH YEAR, some trumpets have a secondary date. The arrow () is a UK mark used on government equipment, you may be more familiar with this older broad arrow , but I use the 1980 standard.

Manufacturer FWA oftens displays 2 dates, I suggest '851' is the NHS-required build date and 'SEP 1951' is a later added ship date.

This list is to help assign pictures to model numbers. We know that the OL series was started just after the NHS was created. The oldest NHS/OL trumpet recorded here is January 1949 and the latest is April 1976, HAM has 776 on an OL38001.

Starred items are part of my Wish List
buyno Mfr
Model #
date
     
457
FWA
OL301
851
Recorded in paper by Stevens/Goodwin 1984 marked
OL301
DEC 1951
FWA 8 51

also 2 samples at
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
* Mears
OL301A
850
  image provided by
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
where there is a sample
* FWA
OL302
651

image courtesy Worthpoint
  metal headband

marked O.L.302
JUNE 1951
FWA-4
466 FWA
OL307
451
metal headband

marked OL307
FWA 451
Aug 1951
* OL311
no arrow
These are faux tortoiseshell but the A suffix seems to denote grey plastic - see next item image provided by
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
where there are 2 samples
* SMC
OL311A
352


images taken at
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
where there are 2 samples
* Mears
OL 312
753
   
465 FWA
OL315
451
marked OL315
APR 1951
FWA 451
229 Mears
OL320
449
marked Mears OL320 449
363 R J Dowling
OL 330
352
closed it measures about 19 cms open it is about 28 cms
Mine is dated 352

oldest RJD seen 449

97 R J Dowling
OL 331
1249
 
82 OL 332
no arrow
1948
oldest seen
DOWLING 650
has full marks
this is probably earlier
460
R J Dowling
OL332
451
marked
R J Dowling LONDON
451
OL332

to show copper finished version
* R J Dowling
OL 333
849
 
304 Mears
OL340
955
More cheaply made than the Eschmanns

seen 953 on EBay

278
Eschmann
OL340
359
2nd image courtesy of
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
258 Eschmann
OL340
76
Unmarked but definitely an Eschmann - I have the mfg dwg !!
391 R J Dowling
OL350
949
2nd image provided by
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
where there is a sample dated
749
462 Belclere
OL351
149
 
62 R J Dowling
OL 351
650
 
469 OL360
1948
Early item without makers marking or dates just OL number
167 Belclere
OL 360
149
 
414 R J Dowling
OL360
849
 
92 Mears
OL 370
1153
Eschmann also made this in black and red acetate as late as 1976, sometimes labelled EBW
(Eschmann Bros & Walsh)

see next item
289 Eschmann
OL370
376
 
454 FWA
OL380
Dec49
marked:
OL380
FWA-449
DEC-1949
461 Eschmann
OL380
1951
marked
OL380
273 FWA
OL380A
950
Finally found an OL380A on Ebay and bought it Feb 2015

small earpiece difference to the 380 the 380A rotates !
323 Mears
OL380 A
352
Saw one of these at
Hearing Aid Museum

finally found one !
475 Eschmann Bros
and Walsh
OL380A
1060
* Eschmann
OL380A
no arrow
Possibly a 1958 version

see
Hearimg Aid Museum
70 Eschmann
OL 38001
971
 
  Eschmann
OL 38001
476
this was on Ebay

latest
Medresco found, 776 on
OL38001

Also see details at
Hearing Aid Museum

  NHS
issue voucher
came with OL380A #475  
  NHS
battery booklet
this booklet arrived with a trumpet  

* Observed in other collections and on my Wish List.
971 represents Sep 1971 with the Government broad arrow.
More data on OL numbers for vacuum tube hearing aids may be found at the Hearing Aid Museum
Another OL56 is at Richards Radio
Known OL numbers for electronic aids & accessories
Ref Type Note
Mark II    
Mark III    
OL10 Vacuum Tube  
OL15A Vacuum Tube  
OL20A    
OL27X Vacuum Tube  
OL35   Remploy
OL35A Vacuum Tube  
OL56 Transistor show picture show picture
OL57   for children with pick up coil
OL58   high power, bone conduction
OL58C    
OL63   high power
OL64   OL56 with screened mike
OL66    
OL67   for children
OL230 - 45V HT battery
OL240 - 30V HT battery
OL342 - 18V HT battery
OL345 - 1.5V LT battery
OL375 Vacuum Tube  
OL419 - 1.5V LT battery miniature
OL575    
OL675 Ear piece From Neil at the Hearimg Aid Museum :
Here is a picture of the OL675 receiver from what is presumably an Ardente transistor body aid of around 1960--not sure the exact model.

I'm assuming that the number only refers to the receiver and not the whole aid--or else the number would have been put on the body of the aid as is done in other cases.
     
     


Ear Trumpets, the Packington Collection
SY10, Shropshire, UK
01691830296