Squeeze, or Bulb Car Horns!

Earliest car horns were all bulb horns.

Bulb Car Horn
Bulb Car Horn

From the same book came this picture of a reed. It’s very similar to those in the squeeze horns I sell, but with a screw to adjust tension of the reed.
I just did some experimenting with a reed I have and discovered that by pulling the top ‘tongue’ of the reed away from the main portion, ie. increasing the gap, I could lower the tone. This was done by bending the reed, which is a bit dangerous considering it’s impossible to bend it back.  At some point I’ll do some serious experiments with adjusting the pitch and volume, and I think adding an adjusting screw could work!

Bulb Car Horn Reed
Bulb Car Horn Reed



4 thoughts on “Squeeze, or Bulb Car Horns!”

  1. I’m a community band director and someday would like to play Gershwin’s “An American In Paris” using the four Parisian taxi horns he calls for in the score. They are four different pitches (A, B, then C & D an octave higher). Have you ever run into these kind of bulb horns before? If you are not familiar with the sound, check out this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ros66y1aZ-E) and listen/watch between 1:30 and 2:00 into the video.

    Thank you,

    Bill Schuetter
    Music Director
    Encore Concert Band
    Orland Park, IL

  2. Hi John: Great site! You wrote, in your section on auto bulb horn: “From the same book came this picture of a reed.”

    What is the title of the book, if you don’t mind my asking?

    Thanks and have a great Thanksgiving!

    Best regards

    1. Hi Randall,
      Thanks for stopping by. It seem the title is. “Automobile carbureters ; Automobile operation ; Troubles and remedies …
      By International Correspondence Schools, International Textbook Company”. Here’s a link to the page where I found the picture.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

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