Your doorbell. The welcome call of Girl Scouts, door-to-door magazine salesmen, evangelists, neighborhood kids, and even the occasional houseguest. A signaling device calling you out of your shower, into your bathrobe, and up to the front door of your house. They are interesting little buttons which some fascinating history behind them
History of the Doorbell
The first doorbell was invented by William Murdoch, a Scottish inventor, who placed this nascent welcome chime in the doorway of his Birmingham home in 1817. Murdoch’s home did not have electricity to power his doorbell like our modern homes, rather, his functioned using a complex pipe system and compressed air. Joseph Henry first invited a doorbell which could be rung using electrical wiring in 1831. By the early 1900s electrical doorbells were becoming a standard feature in homes all across America.
Wired doorbells are the most common modern doorbell. They function using doorbell transformers which typically run on 120 or 240-volt AC electrical power. The actually front door button is connected to the doorbell transformer which is connected to the home’s main electrical system. The transformer signals to the chime, which rings out a pleasant tone when the button has been pressed. More complex systems may include additions doorbells buttons in locations such as side doors, and back doors.
Growing in popularity is a trend to use wireless, nonelectric doorbells. These vintage, or retro doorbells are usually built using simple mechanicals systems which may function with pulleys or levers. Some homeowners have even gone so far as to leave metal hand bells mounted outside their doors. Other homeowners eschew doorbells entirely and opt into the use of a classic doorknocker. The possibilities are endless, homeowners are limited only be their own creativity and imagination!