Max A. Goldstein Acoustical Instrument Scrapbook


Reference code


Level of description



Max A. Goldstein Acoustical Instrument Scrapbook



0.1 cubic feet (1 box)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Max A. Goldstein (1870-1941) was born in St. Louis and received his medical degree in 1892 from the Missouri Medical College, a precursor institution to Washington University School of Medicine. After an internship at St. Louis City Hospital, Dr. Goldstein traveled to Berlin, Strasbourg, London and Vienna as part of a grand tour to complete his medical training. His interest in otology, a new and promising field, led him to the internationally renowned Vienna Polyclinic to study with Dr. Adam Politzer (1835-1920), "father of modern otology." While in Vienna, Dr. Goldstein heard a series of lectures presented by Dr. Victor Urbantschitsch (1847-1921), a proponent of aural training for congenitally deaf children, and observed how deaf children could be taught speech by using acoustic training methods to stimulate dormant auditory senses.

Dr. Goldstein returned to St. Louis in 1895 to establish his medical practice. Within a year, Goldstein was appointed chair of Otology at Beaumont Medical College, an appointment that continued until 1912. In 1896 Goldstein founded a new medical journal, The Laryngoscope; he served as its editor from its first issue until his death in 1941. At the behest of Dr. Victor Urbantschitsch, Goldstein began teaching a class of sixteen girls at the St. Joseph's Institute for the Deaf using the Urbantschitsch acoustic training methods and provided instruction for teachers on how to apply these methods. These teaching sessions for deaf children and teachers of the deaf led to the idea of establishing an institute for the deaf in which an effective cooperation between teachers, otologists, and other specialties would develop. In 1914, Dr. Goldstein founded Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in the rooms above his medical office. The first class consisted of four children and within two years construction began on a new separate school building.

By 1930, CID expanded to include a clinic for rehabilitation of deaf adults and research laboratories where scientists were recruited world-wide to study deafness. The teacher training program was affiliated with Washington University in 1931, the first deaf education program in the country affiliated with a university. Dr. Goldstein was made professor of research otology and speech pathology at Washington University that same year. He remained director of CID and professor until his death in 1941. By the time of Goldstein's death, CID had established an international reputation, with an enrollment of 300 students from the U.S. and several foreign countries.

Dr. Goldstein was also an avid collector of mechanical hearing devices including the first models of commercially made devices. The CID-Goldstein Historic Devices for Hearing Collection contains over 400 hearing devices dating from 1796 and represents one of the largest collections in the world. Associated with the collection is archival material dating from the 19th century including patents, photographic prints, catalog illustrations, advertisements, and related ephemera. In addition to collecting hearing devices, Dr. Goldstein collected rare books dealing with communication and disorders of the ear, nose and throat. The CID-Goldstein Collection in Speech and Hearing contains over 700 rare books on the fields of otology, deaf education and speech defects. Both collections are housed at Bernard Becker Medical Library.

Among his many achievements was the founding of The Society of Progressive Oral Advocates in 1918, an organization devoted to oral education of the deaf, and serving as editor of Oralism and Auralism, its official publication. He also founded the St. Louis League of Hard of Hearing, now known as the St. Louis Hearing-Speech Center. Dr. Goldstein was awarded the Gold Medal by the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society in recognition of his work in the education of the deafened child, the St. Louis Award for his great contributions to humanity, and an honorary LLD degree from Washington University. Dr. Goldstein passed away in July 1941 at the age of 71.

Scope and content

This collection consists of 50 lithographic prints of historic hearing devices from a scapbook put together by Max A. Goldstein. The hearing devices were collected by Goldstein and installed as an exhibit in the Library for the Central Institute for the Deaf.

System of arrangement

The images were originally housed in a scapbook, which was disbound for preservation purposes. The descriptions that accompanied the prints in the scrapbook have been reproduced.

Conditions governing access

The collection is open and accessible for research.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (

Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Rules or conventions

"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

Sources used

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places