1841 __ Instructional stethoscope — Collective listening and isolation
‣ Comment : Telegraphy helped popularize technica notions of listening as it constructed audile technique very differently from medicine. While medicine was a relatively elite practice, telegraph operators were at the lower end of the middle-class spectrum in both income and prestige. While mediate auscultation was about listening to the human body, sound telegraphy was about listening to a network that linked people separated by distance. Mediate auscultation had to create a physical distance between doctor and patient as participants ; sound telegraphy presumed great distances between operators. Mediate auscultation was linked to scientific reason ; sound telegraphy was linked to bureaucratic reason. If mediate auscultation is significant because of doctors' systematic attempts to elaborate a hermeneutics and pedagogy of listening, souns telegraphy both further generalized a notion of technicized listening and brought it for the first time into the realm of mediated communication, mass culture, and everyday lfe. Doctors went through years of training to become virtuoso listeners, but the telegrapher was a self-made auditor. Sound telegraphy itself was not handed down through textbooks and institutionnalized training ; rather, it developed as a result of workers' changing orientations to the machines that they used. The telegrapher's auditory skill drove the acceleration of telegraphic communication, and hearing became a hall mark of its efficiency. — a synecdoche for the effectiveness of the network itself. [...] (Jonathan Sterne,pp. 137-138) — Collective versions of technical listening were designed to allow many people to hear the same thing at once while still putting the sound directly in their ears. In other words, the technicized, individuated auditory field could be experienced “collectively”. The instructional stethoscope was the first technology developed on this principle. The first such model was designed in 1841, and instructional stethoscopes were in use throughout the ninenteenth century. Instructional stethoscopes were doubtly useful to medical pedagogy : they modeled not only the character of the sound to be heard, but also the proper techniques of listening. The instructional stethoscope facilitated listening in a collective yet individuated manner. It is an interesting twist on Reiser’s discussion of the physician “isolat[ing] himself in a world of sounds” : here, the isolation is “collective”, each student would hear the same things as all the others while still within an enclosed sonic field. By the early twentieth century, instructional stethoscopes were replaced by electrical stethoscopes that would make the sounds of a patient’s body audible throughout a room and sound recordings of amplified heartbeats. But this notion of collective yet individuated listening persisted elsewhere. — both in sound recording and, later, in radio. “Hearing tubes” were a common alternative on early phonographs. They provided a way of increasing the volume of relatively quiet mechanical instruments oand also a means of private lsitening. This mode of listening caught on in private homes, but it was essential for the first context in which the phonograph industry turned a profit : phonograph parlors that used coin-in-the slot machines. (Jonathan Sterne, pp. 161-162)
‣ French comment : [extrait du catalogue 3M] M™ Littmann® Master Classic II pour l' enseignement - Le stéthoscope Teaching Master Classic II est doté d'une double lyre permettant au professeur et à l'étudiant une ausculation simultanée. Il a une lyre noir et une lyre bordeaux, un pavillon unique avec membrane double fréquence.
‣ Source : Sterne, Jonathan (2003), “The Audible Past - Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction”, Durham & London : Duke University Press.
‣ Source : Wade N J, Ono H (2005), "From dichoptic to dichotic: historical contrasts between binocular vision and binaural hearing" In “Perception” 34(6), pp.645 - 668.
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