Medicine: Voiceless Speech

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Before a gathering of skeptics, members of the Baltimore Medical Society, stood three voiceless men. They had been brought there by Dr. J. E. Mac-kenty of the Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital to demonstrate an invention of his whereby, he claims, the voiceless may speak. These voiceless ones had been operated on for cancer of the throat; their larynxes removed. They were unable to breathe through their noses. Instead, they obtained air through holes cut in their necks. Over these air-holes they wore pads invented by Dr. Mackenty, from which tubes went up to mechanisms made in the simulacrum of the human vocal cords. A stubby tube like a pipestem in the mouth of each mute man enabled him to modulate the curious articulations made possible by the apparatus. The mutes addressed the skeptical surgeons. Audibly, precisely, they droned commonplace words in unearthly monotones. Dr. Mackenty claims that his invention would save the lives of many who yearly refuse to undergo operations, that might save their lives, for fear of losing their speech. The surgeons, astounded, were still skeptical.