Old Comments (Thanks!)

34 thoughts on “Old Comments Prior to 2021”


  • Hi John, I am from Mumbai and we have these horns used in the autorickshaws ( tuk tuk) and the state run buses.
    I have found some people making these brass horns STILL in Mumbai, perhaps these are the last of the breed but these can still be sourced here in Mumbai . Drop me a line on … and we can take ahead.


      1. Hi Al, I replied by email (took your address out of the comment so it wouldn’t be public). Thanks and excited to discuss. Best, John



      1. Very interesting, thank you. Looks like he’s mostly dealing with vintage motorcycle horns. I’m getting some great ideas for attaching brackets for bike handlebars from looking over his site. Thanks again Iguana.

          1. Hi. John
            Greetings for the day.
            This side surender sethi.
            Let me know ur requirements of spare rubber horn bulbs.
            U order any color any quantity.
            Be assured u will get in best rubber quality.
            Surender sethi

              1. Hi Sethi, I removed your email from the comment so you don’t get spammed. But I will contact you now to be in touch.





  • Good morning, evening, afternoon and night! I have great interest in your insightful encyclopedia of bulb horns of many! But I was wondering if you would be able to identify several of these bulb horn/noisemaker sounds. I’ve created a compilation of these sounds (Warner Bros./Looney Tunes horn sounds) that way they’ll be easy to tell apart. I’m hoping this won’t be a hassle! Do take your time. Thank you and have a great day!

    The video containing the samples:





  • Hi,

    Are you back to selling horns? Though they were a couple of years old, I’ve seen a few posts on your site saying that you had stopped temporarily.

    I’m looking to purchase two – a 7″ brass and a 10″ double-bell brass.

    I look forward to hearing from you, thank you.



  • I have about 20 squeeze horns that I purchased from WalMart and the horns are used on a kids barrel ride train.
    the horns are made in China and are sold under the names of Bell and Kent bicycle accessories.
    The plastic and brass reed valve will fail/break after a few minutes of the kids honking them.
    Do you have a vendor or manufacturers that will sell replacement reed valves only?

    replacing the valve would be an quick and simple fix, but the stores that I purchased the horns from tells me the have to replace the whole horn.
    can you help?


    Terry Martin





  • Hello I am looking to buy just the ball that squeezes as mine has disappeared from my horn bell. Do you know where I could purchase one? Or coul I et one from you? The opening diameter is 1 cm.
    Thank you

      1. Sorry, I don’t just now. Also the bulb on our horns is larger than 1 cm. If you do find a source please let me know.



  • Tim bought a sqeeeze horn from you a year ago
    How to clean the rubber bulb
    It leaves your hand black!

      1. I’m just discovering this myself. What I’m suspecting is that the second batch of horns I received included bulbs with inferior rubber quality. I’ve cleaned mine with dish washing detergent.



  • hope you guys are not permanently defunct… I just found you and want to do some bid’ness…
    in the market for some horns (I love the silly things, too) and particularly the mounting brackets
    that you’ve had made up, very cool… if someone’s still out there in the digital wasteland, and
    planning to resume ops anytime soon, plz. contact me so that we may conduct some sort of
    bulb horn transaction… best regards, John D…

      1. Oh we’re back alright! Just in case anyone is wondering . I’ve asked a few recent customers if they’d care to comment or send along a photo of their horns in use. Fingers crossed they get back to me. Best, John


Vintage Squeezehorns

Back in the day they were called bulb horns and were the standard horn on pre-war cars. Somewhere along the line they began to be called squeeze horns. This begs the question… Who was the first clown to use a squeeze horn (was it Harpo?) because nowadays they’re also referred to as clown horns.
From Bonham’s auction house! Beautiful ‘bulb horns’ from the early 1900s.


A brass bodied double-twist bulb horn. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26120/lot/49/
A brass three-trumpet “Le Testophone” bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26120/lot/47/
A veteran eight-trumpet bulb horn, French, circa 1910 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26641/lot/17/
A ‘Le Testaphone’ six trumpet bulb horn by Cicca, French, patented 1908 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25446/lot/96/
A four trumpet bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25446/lot/98/
A coiled body horn by Rubres, French https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24733/lot/235/


A fine eight-trumpet “Le Testophone” bulb horn by Cicca, French, circa 1909 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24879/lot/105/
A fine brass four-trumpet “Le Testophone” bulb horn, French, circa 1909 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24879/lot/106/
A wide trumpet running board mounted horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24733/lot/237/
A replica Boa Constrictor snake’s head horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24733/lot/241/
A coiled body horn by Nonpariel, French https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24733/lot/244/
A rare combination horn and siren by Stenor Sirene, Paris  https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24733/lot/247/
Hand-crank Klaxon, want one! An Edwardian hand-cranked klaxon trumpet horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24123/lot/102/
A rare ‘Central Python’ brass bulb horn, French https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24123/lot/104/
A Lucas No 38 King of the Road bulb horn with mirror https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24123/lot/105/
Cicca Horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24308/lot/179/
A rare Lucas ‘King of the Road’ No.40 single-twist bulb horn, circa 1903 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23597/lot/42/
An ‘Etienne Le Testaphone’ four-trumpet bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23597/lot/45/
A Desmo double twist bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23597/lot/47/
A Boa Constrictor bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23597/lot/48/
Hand operated Klaxon https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23597/lot/50/
A Le Testaphone seven trumpet bulb horn, French, circa 1910 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23871/lot/158/
A fine double turn brass bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23594/lot/131/
A Boa Constrictor bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/10579/lot/230/
A Lucas double-twist bulb-horn Japanned Black https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15345/lot/251/
A Rotax ‘Clarion’ double-twist bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15345/lot/271/
An Autovox horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16247/lot/88/
A Le Serpentin bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16536/lot/172/
An Escargot type bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16536/lot/173/
A Perfecta double twist bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16536/lot/174/
A fine and rare miniature snake’s head bulb horn by C & C Paris, circa 1902 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/17658/lot/105/
A rare British Lion horn ‘trumpet’, British, circa 1905 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20146/lot/124/
Rare trompe automobile à seize tons, Française, circa 1910 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21768/lot/87/
A veteran Autovox brass double-twist horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21735/lot/61/
An ‘Schnecke’ type horn by Haeckel https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18218/lot/142/
A L’Autovox horn, French, patented 1908 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18218/lot/184/
A four-tone bulb horn by Sigval https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18218/lot/187/
A fine ‘Le Testaphone’ four trumpet bulb horn by Cicca, French, patented 1908-09 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18218/lot/194/
A L’Autovox horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19284/lot/84/
A large double twist bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22201/lot/617/
A Goliath bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22201/lot/706/
An early four-note ‘Tenor’ 6 Volt electric brass trumpet horn, by Cicca, French https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21907/lot/7/
A dual, air and electric, brass, Klaxon horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22530/lot/88/
A double twist bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16536/lot/176/
A Goliath bulb horn https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22201/lot/706/
A brass three-trumpet “Le Testophone” bulb horn, French https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26120/lot/47/
A ‘Le Testaphone’ six trumpet bulb horn by Cicca, French, patented 1908 https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25446/lot/96/
A large Boa Constrictor trumpet horn, British https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23597/lot/44/

At Last! Tuned Horns

University of Michigan has a 2016 video describing the original taxi horn tones of the Gershwin score. [Updated 11/19 See also new Taxi Horns post.]

Reader Jan (see comment below) shares an insight into the notes used in the original recording. That lead to this article (lots of interesting details): 1929 Gershwin Taxi Horn Photo Clarifies Mystery. It would seem the mystery of the actual tones used in the original recording is solved!

A comment from Bill Schuetter today provided the missing clue to discovering a source for tuned squeeze horns. Bill provided a link to a YouTube video of the LA Philharmonic performing Gershwin’s ‘American In Paris’. There they are! and certainly orchestras around the world would need these to perform Gershwin. I found a  few sources. See links below.

Taxi Horns for Gershwin's American In Paris Attribution Some rights reserved by vxla
Taxi Horns for Gershwin’s ‘American In Paris’ – Attribution Some rights reserved by vxla

[Update 5/11/15] There you go! Owner Russ Knutson, of Chicago Percussion Rental comments below to point out that the horns in this shot came from his shop.

From  CaliforniaPercussion.com (renting at $100 a week + shipping).

George Gershwin wrote for Tuned Taxi Horns in his composition An American in Paris. These horns come in a set of 4 pitches: A, B, C, & D. We have 3 sets of tuned taxi horns in our rental department and they all sound FANTASTIC! You will have no issues with our taxi horns; no muffled or dog barkish sounds, just pure taxi horn tone! As a percussionist for 10 years in the San Francisco Symphony, Trey Wyatt has used these horns for over 50 performances without failure.

The taxi horn part is normally played by one player. Gershwin actually writes for 2 players to each play 2 horns. However, it works brilliantly for this part to by played by 1 player, the cymbal player, as the cues for all the horn parts are written in the cymbal part.

Certainly not cheap to purchase. That’s about $750. U.S. From Kolberg in Germany.
A little cheaper at around $650 (but without the stand) from Jam in the U.K.
Most orchestras rent the set of  horns. In the U.S. often from Steve Weiss Music outside of Philadelphia.
Also from LA Percussion Rentals. FSTJ Percussion in Quebec, Canada, and above-mentioned California Percussion.
I’ll be looking for a U.S. source to purchase. I’ve also emailed an Indian manufacturer to see what the thinks about custom building tuned horns.

A Horn For Tim’s BMW

Not that there was ever any doubt, but here’s picture proof that our horns are a class act. This is the 12″ medium loop horn mounted on Tim’s 1955 BMW. Beautiful! We were a little concerned about mounting the horn to his 7/8″ handle bars. He did use the attaching bracket I include, but supplemented it…

I used a zip tie to the clutch cable to increase the contact points. After taking the photo I inserted sail tape (used to stop sharp objects from ripping sailboat sails) between the handle bars and the clamp. This tightened the fit and prevents scratches to the chrome bars. The horn is loud (good) and is an excellent add on.

bmwPhoto2 brass horn bmw

Thanks for sending the photos Tim!

Johnny From Seattle

Johnny sent along a shot of his 16″ covered bell horn, now safely secured to his bike. I asked him how he attached it.

I couldn’t use the included handlebar clamp due to dashboard and foredeck, so I used two 3/4″ insulated conduit hangers and secured the upper segment with a zip tie.

Johnny from Seattle sent along a shot of his bike.


And here’s a close-up of how he attached his horn.