Coreen McGuire

Coreen McGuire

PhD Student

Summary: PhD HPS My PHD is entitled, “The ‘Deaf Subscriber’ and the shaping of the British Post Office’s Amplified Telephones 1918-1939.”


Summary: My research concerns the history of technologies designed for hearing loss and is centred at the intersection between STS and Disability Studies. 


Graeme Gooday and Jamie Stark

This thesis is focused on technologies that were designed in the early twentieth century to help people with hearing loss, such as the British Post Office’s amplified telephones. My main research question involves answering what motivated the Post Office to design these telephones and thereby considers the influence of users (the ‘Deaf Subscribers), hearing aid manufacturers and the government's changing attitude to disability after the First World War.  This work therefore combines the history of technology with disability studies and considers hearing loss apart from the literature concerning Deaf history. 

I am funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through a Collaborative Doctoral Award (which I hold in conjunction with Sean McNally) and am further supported by BT Archives and Action for Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID).

The Thackray Museum are also informal partners to the project and Professor Graeme Gooday, Sean McNally and I assisted their curatorial design team on an Arts Council-funded project to develop an exhibition concerning combat-induced hearing loss in WW1 and to explore the resulting technological developments to hearing aids. 

I currently work as a tutor and hold the position of Postgraduate Intern for the School of HPS. I have also recently joined the Legacies of War committee and started a Level 1 sign language course. 

Conference Presentations

•Panel Session at the British Society for the History of Science Conference 2014. Communicating (with) Hearing Loss, 1840–1950. 

•Rethinking Patent Cultures Workshop 3: DISABILITY & PROSTHESES

•Panel Session at the British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference. State Sponsorship vs. Private Reward: The role of the twentieth-century General Post Office in Warfare and Welfare.

•Panel Session at the British Society for the History of Science Conference 2015. Audible Matters: Hearing Technologies Through the Twentieth Century.

Blog Contributions.

Good Vibrations Part 1
Good Vibrations Part 2


Public Lecture at the Thackray Medical Museum.
Talk given at CHSTM 'Trauma, telephones and treatment: changing attitudes to hearing loss after World War One.
W.I.P. Stamping Out the Competition: the Post Office Advertising Policy in the late 1930s.


•C. McGuire ‘Amplified telephony: The Contest between Post Office Provision and Unpatented Invention in Inter-war Britain’ in C. Jones (ed.) Bodily Commodifications: Rethinking Modern Histories of Prostheses in Anglo-America (Manchester University Press, forthcoming publication, 2016)

Magazine piece for PhD co- sponsors 'Action on Hearing Loss'

Book Reviews.

• Ruth Oldenziel and Mikael Hard, Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels: The People who Shaped Europe, (Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) in The British Journal for the History of Science (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming Dec, 2015)

Newsletters (edited)

•The Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science Postgraduate Newsletter 

Please contact me on or @coreen_anne 

The most up to date record of my publications can be found here.

My research interests include: the History of Technology, the History of Science, Disability Studies, Deafness and Hearing Loss, Telecommunications, Sound Studies and Social History.