Door Honker!

Thank you Bill! An inspiration!

Hi John,
Attached are two photos showing the new “door honker” installed. It is quite effective! This is only possible in rural settings as the honking would be a problem in suburban or urban neighborhoods. The squeeze horn makes an ideal “door bell” when other alternatives don’t work including wireless doorbells (can’t transmit through metal doors and siding), iron door knockers (not loud enough), or banging one’s hand against the door. A compressed air powered horn doesn’t have any charm. The squeeze horn is perfect! The rubber bulb is “holstered” in a 6″ round float that has been cut out to receive the bulb and protect it from the sun. The horn is tethered to the post using a brass chain.
Regards,
Bill

Horns Attached!

Shout out to Jan who hipped me to a neat piece of kit readily available at most hardware stores. A ‘plumbing grounding saddle’ or ‘ground clamp’ served to get Jan’s horn firmly attached to their golf cart…


Here’s some close ups of a Pro Connex branded clamp I found locally. All the threads are 1/4″ course, so there are a ton of available screw types and sizes available for whatever application you might have. I’d also apply a little threadlocker on the screw that screws into the clamp.
In the photos I have the horn mounted at both the bulb and stem. The clamp itself has teeth, so I did notice some scuffing on the stem. Probably the best bet would be to sheath the stem with a rubber or plastic shim first.

Janus Motorcycle

Mike sent along a photo of his beautiful Janus Halcyon 250.
“…it’s a copy of a feather bed Norton made all by hand by the Amish out of Goshen Indiana. Funny they can produce the motorbike but not ride them, even the machinery to fabricate the motorbike has to be generator power because the Amish can not be connected to the main power grid.”
You can find out more here: https://www.janusmotorcycles.com/
(Or check out their YouTube channel… this ‘How our fenders are made‘ video, for instance. Wow!)
But I think you’ll agree the horn makes an awesome finishing touch.
Thank You Mike!

Harpo Speaks!

Finally found a used copy of Harpo’s autobiography. A fun romp through early, poverty-stricken but full of get up and go New York Marx family childhood stories (Harpo was born in 1888!). Followed by years and years of pounding the pavement scratching out a living on the Vaudeville circuit. Finally a few breaks and steady theater success, and then Hollywood and the big time.
Here he details the birth of his trademark squeeze horn ( taxi horn). The show ‘Home Again’ puts this at around 1914.

Taxi Horns

Well known for its use in Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris’, I realized today I had no idea what in fact a  ‘taxi horn’ was! If you Google it you’ll just get references to Gershwin, especially since the discovery that ‘we were doing it wrong’. (See my post here.) Consider that the horns Gershwin used were NOT what you’d typically find installed on an automobile by the manufacturer. (See vintage auto ‘bulb horns’, including many from French manufacturers here.) So what were they?

I turned to Google Books, sorted by date,  and looked for references to ‘taxi horns’ from the early 1900s. Gershwin wrote ‘An American in Paris’ in 1928, and the thinking behind using taxi horns in the composition was to evoke the ambience of Paris.

Here’s what I think… In the 1920s, taxi drivers, especially in France, would sound a ‘taxi horn’ when arriving to pick up their fare.


The ‘rattle of wheels’ sounds to me like it could be a carriage.
The Man Thou Gavest
By Harriet Theresa Comstock · 1917


Theatre Magazine Volume 36
Published: 1922
Publisher: Theatre Magazine Company




About now (1940) the term is becoming ambiguous. This could certainly be a taxi’s horn, rather than a ‘taxi horn’.


But maybe you know better, or have something to add. Feel free to leave us a comment. Thanks!