"goathorn eartrumpet"
W. P. Zubar with eartrumpet (c. 1900)
Public DomainW. P. Zubar with eartrumpet (c. 1900) - Credit: Library of Congress

Ear trumpets were early hearing aids. They were tubular or funnel-shaped in order to collect sound waves and lead them into the ear. Typically they were made of sheet iron, silver, wood, animal horns, and even snail shells.