ADVISORY: The gap in funding federal government operations in the first 16 days of October cut the Profile America production cycle by more than half. Only 15 unique products are available for November. No Profile America feature for November is day/date specific, but can be played any day in the month.
Normal production resumes with December's daily files.
Profile America — a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau. This month in 1901 brought good news for the hard of hearing, as Miller Reese Hutchinson of New York patented the first portable electric hearing aid. Called the "acousticon," the device was a smaller version of previous tabletop units. While portable, it still had three components and used batteries that only lasted for a few hours. But it was far superior to ungainly hearing trumpets or simply cupping a hand behind the ear. One of its earliest, grateful customers was England's Queen Alexandra in 1902. Now, tiny digital hearing aids that users can program for maximum effect help millions to hear normal conversations. Making medical equipment and supplies is a nearly $79 billion a year business in the U.S. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.