How can you hear without any natural hearing equipment?

In his book “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill describes how his son Blair was born without any natural hearing equipment and he still managed to restore almost his full hearing capacity.

Have you heard of that story or maybe of someone else who was born without natural hearing equipment? I’m asking because I assume that many of those people might end up as deaf mutes but apparently Blair Hill didn’t. Napoleon Hill says that the teachers of his son insisted he learn sign language but Hill and his wife did not allow him to do so because they wanted him to live a normal life.

I’ve tried to find some information about Blair Hill on the Internet but to no avail. Maybe you know something about this story?


I don’t believe the story.

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For a Deaf person, using sign language would be part of a normal life. As I understand it, Blair was not really Deaf to start with.


I remember a Canadian friend who, when we were working with a bunch of Deaf adults that I had known for some time, began clapping his hands togther behind their backs. I asked him why he was doing that and he replied that it was to get their attention. I told him that they all had no hearing capacity whatsoever, but he insisted that with good strong clapping, they would hear him and he would get their attention. I banged my foot on the wooden floor a couple of times and the whole group turned to face us. We then had a discussion in which the Deaf participants told my friend that banging one’s foot on the floor was indeed one common and effective way of getting a Deaf person’s attention. Sadly, even with this infomation, my friend continued with his sound experiments. He also said that he found the thumping on the floor a vulgar way to communicate.

Some people just can’t accept other people’s situations and ways of doing I guess. So, I’d read Blair Hill’s story with caution. Even though his father was probably right in thinking and saying “Nature could not induce me to accept the reality of the situation”, in some cases, one just has to accept that reality.

Note the similarity to the “thumping on the floor”, here:

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Perhaps they can feel the vibration that causes the sound. People who lack one sense always have the other senses more sensitive to the surroundings.

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I’m not sure that is always true.

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Also, this is why some deaf people can ‘listen’ to music by touching the radio/speakers/etc. They obviously can’t hear all the notes, but they can at least get a feel for the beat and rhythm. Depending on their particular sensitivity, they may also be able so sense some tonal differences, since different tones of course vibrate with different frequencies.

Music is nothing more than vibrations in the air, and sound waves can be transferred through solids and liquids also.

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What happened to Torsten?

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The question is “What happened to Molly?” :slight_smile: