Door Chime - History

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It may seem odd now, but there was a time when so called "musical door chimes" were a novelty and a luxury.  In this case, "musical" refers to any sounds made by a tap or knock on a tuned bell or bells of some sort, as opposed to an alarm like clatter or an irritating buzzer. In fact, early advertising made the claim that these new musical chimes would be just the ticket to offer relief to housewives whose nerves were jangled by the jarring sound of typical door buzzers. Early advertising sometimes featured door chimes as a good gift giving item.  Can you imagine going to Home Depot to get your loved one a doorbell for Christmas?    So while it may seem just a bit odd that anyone would put so much effort into the mundane topic of old electric doorbells, consider that these were once a matter of luxury and pride.  Consider that in the heyday of musical chimes, a doorbell niche was often built into a new home to give the chime a conspicuous and honored spot-- absolutely de rigueur for better homes. To me, restoring them is a matter of preserving an artifact  of our architecture and culture, which only by its enormous success has become so normal and common as to be virtually invisible to most people. 

Today, it's hard to imagine that anyone would not know what a door bell sounds like-- Ding-Dong, of course!  But it wasn't always like that... the electric door bell had to be invented, refined, marketed.  I hope to eventually piece together the history of the door chime business.  That history was not well documented, at least not in any form that makes it easy to rediscover today.  Much of it was surely lost with the passing of the generation that created it.  A fair amount of speculation is required to piece it all together.

What’s clear is that there was a flurry of patent activity for musical chimes starting around 1930.  Some ideas were dead simple, some frighteningly complex.  Evidence suggests that  Edwards and Telechime (General Kontrolar) were the earliest  companies to market solenoid-struck chimes.  By 1936 Nutone and Rittenhouse were formidable competitors.  Lots of tiny shops sprung up in the late thirties to fill demand for the trendy product.  In the post war era, the industry was reduced to three major companies: Nutone, Rittenhouse and Edwards. By the late 1950’s Edwards was focused primarily on other products, Rittenhouse was fading away and Nutone was the remaining primary player.  By the late 1960’s chimes devolved from trendy luxury items to lifeless commodities. The official end of the door chime party was marked in 1967 when the founders of NuTone cashed out.  

This section of the site is lengthy, so take these links to bookmarks of subtopics of interest

Nutone Chimes Inc.

General Kontrolar Company  Inc. / Telechime

A.E.Rittenhouse Company Inc.

Edwards and Company Inc.

Other chimes manufactures

Chimes Patents

 A   “When the door-button is pressed, two rich, clear chime tones replace the irritating, nerve racking noise of the ordinary bell or buzzer. An artistic addition to any room. AN IDEAL CHRISTMAS GIFT”   Rittenhouse 1937.   Chime with transformer---$7.00;  being able to read the paper in peace while lounging about in a fancy dress-- priceless.

B  From Rittenhouse, 1946, an era when apparently brides liked door chimes.  “Give the Bride… this exquisite, gloriously different, lasting gift! A beautiful, melodiously tuned Rittenhouse Electric Door Chime imparts new loveliness, sparkling interior smartness and extra livability to the Hall, Den, Studio or Dining Room. The charming and outstanding designs by Norman Bel Geddes—internationally famous designer-stylist—and the unmatched perfection of Rittenhouse tone will delight anyone you wish to make happy and will serve as constant reminders of your good taste” 

C   “Happy is the Bride... with this lasting companion of loveliness and melody. Difficult, indeed, would be the selection of a Bridal Gift to match the distinctive beauty and appealing year after year utility of a Rittenhouse Electric Door Chime.  Smartly styled, charming as a treasured home decorative adornment and expertly engineered to assure rich melodious tone and trouble free mechanical performance for years, Rittenhouse Chimes enjoy the preference of discriminating home owners everywhere. And there is a handsome Rittenhouse Chime to meet every fancy… and every purse.. at your better department, furniture and electrical appliance stores.”  $31.50,  Rittenhouse Sheffield model, 1947   

D  This logo decal appears on the earliest Rittenhouse chimes.  it was probably used only on pre-war models.

E  This logo decal appears on the earliest NuTone products often along with...

F ... this paper label.  The number 1229 appears consistently on this label, but I have no idea what it means.

G  Would you buy a doorbell from this man?  Millions did. J. Ralph Corbett, co-founder of Nutone Chimes.

 

Nutone Chimes, Inc. , Cincinnati, Ohio

Founded in 1936 by J. Ralph Corbett (1897-1988) and Patricia Corbett  (1912- )

 Many references to the history of NuTone can be found in a cursory web search. That is undoubtedly because of the Corbett Foundation, a major philanthropic organization that has funneled in excess of 50 million dollars into arts related projects in Cincinnati.  The details of  the company’s history however are overshadowed and presented in sketchy and often misleading form.  I have stitched together various reports into what is probably mostly factual as far as it goes:

Born in December 1896 in Flushing, N.Y., Corbett was the son of a wine merchant. He attended Dwight Preparatory School, where he sang in the choir, and later was a scholarship student at New York Law School, working as an advertising agency mail clerk during the day while taking classes at night.

His first job as a lawyer was as private secretary to an attorney who assisted Clarence Darrow in the Scopes trial. To supplement his income, he began writing radio scripts, and by the mid-1920s had his own marketing and radio production agency. One of his clients, from 1932-37, was Cincinnati's WLW. While working here, Corbett and his wife decided to make Cincinnati their home.

At  WLW, Corbett produced a number of radio series, including ''Famous Jury Trials'' and ''Life of Mary Southern,'' which ran for 10 years.

During the Depression, WLW founder Powel Crosley suggested that Corbett produce a show to ''buoy up courage.'' The result was ''Notes on Business,'' a show hosted by Corbett that dramatized business opportunities, inventions and other upbeat business news recited against a musical background.

After one broadcast, a Dayton man approached Corbett with his idea for a musical chime to replace then-popular doorbell buzzers. Corbett loaned him $5,000, but the inventor went bust. In 1936 Corbett took over what was left of the operation and moved it to Cincinnati. He continued to operate his consulting agency but also founded, in partnership with wife, Patricia, a new company called NuTone Chimes Inc. The company employed only four people and operated in a one-room building downtown.

As his investment soared over $50,000, Corbett realized that he had to narrow the wide price gap separating the chimes - which, under the Dayton man's plans, cost from $16.50 to $125 - and conventional door buzzers, which cost only about 25 cents. With help from an acoustics expert from the University of Cincinnati, a new line of chimes costing $1 to $19.50 was produced by a workforce of four at a 600-square-foot factory. It did not move formally to a more extensive facility until 1940, when it opened manufacturing operations at Third Street and Eggleston Avenue.

By Pearl Harbor, NuTone had grown to more than 400 workers - one-fifth its size when Corbett sold the firm a quarter century later - and its sales had surpassed $1 million. But the wartime conversion of his factory to anti-aircraft fuse production presented several problems: losing about one-fourth of his workers to military service, and searching for a product that could be made from non-essential materials to keep his sales staff occupied.

He solved the latter problem by manufacturing about 1.5 million hardboard mailboxes, and addressed the former by writing 50 letters weekly to NuTone workers in uniform in the hope that they would return after the war. More than three-quarters did.

NuTone would eventually become one of the nation's most recognizable product names, with its doorbells chiming in more than 50 million U.S. homes. The company also expanded into a wide range of other consumer products such as chiming Westminster clocks, intercoms, built-in stereos, electric ranges, kitchen exhaust fans and bathroom ceiling heaters - an idea inspired by the time Corbett bumped into his wall heater while shaving, burning two holes in his robe.

Through savvy marketing, NuTone products that started out as luxuries came to be seen by many Americans as household necessities - particularly in new homes. After initially selling his products in department stores, Corbett later concentrated on wholesalers who dealt with builders and contractors.

By 1967, when Nutone's annual sales had reached $60 million, with 14 plants in the U.S. and Canada, Corbett sold the company for $30 million to Scovill Manufacturing Co. of Connecticut. 

The company changed hands again in 1998, as it was absorbed by Broan, and again by Nortek in 2000 

I wonder... are any of those early pre-Nutone chimes still around? What was the brand name?  What was so different about them that made them so expensive? Anybody know?  See my speculation on this question at the Telechime topic.  

The fact is that the "the Dayton Man" already had a company, probably founded in 1929 and had been making a line of fancy chimes for years when he met Corbett in 1934 or 1935.  What is not at all clear is why he contacted Corbett. Possibly for financial support of his flagging  company, or maybe for marketing help.  Still seeking to uncover that story.  In any case "the Dayton Man's" company continued on through 1939 regardless of how the NuTone story is told.

As for the suggestion of "invention" of musical chimes, given the solid evidence of patent records, neither NuTone, Corbett nor the “Dayton Man” were the original inventor of musical door chimes.  

 

Telechime / General Kontrolar Company Inc. 
200 East First Street
Dayton Ohio

Founded by Gisbert Ludolf Bossard  1890-1975

General Kontrolar was a short -lived company, though hugely significant in the history of the chime business. G.L.Bossard is the elusive  "Dayton Man"  who introduced J. Ralph Corbett, founder of NuTone to the idea of going into the chime business. More on that after some background.

I have learned a fair amount about this company from researching patents, vintage advertising, and discussion with grandsons of G.L. Bossard.  Bossard formed General Kontrolar in Dayton OH in 1929 with proceeds he got from selling his previous endeavor, Bossard Railway Signal Corp. maker of railway crossing signals. With Kontrolar, Bossard never achieved the same degree of success, employing at its peak perhaps a dozen people.  Bossard authored a number of patents for chime mechanisms, all noteworthy for their amazing degree of complexity.  Patents dating from the early 1930’s were assigned to his company, General Kontrolar.  Advertising for Telechime products indicates that the product range included some very deluxe chimes that combined what were effectively servants bells along with the door chime function. Here's some of the text from a 1932 Sweets Catalog listing:

The Aristocrat model combines in one central unit  a door chime, a dinner chime, and a code calling system. Musical keyboard <essentially a wired remote control> and a specially composed book of Telechime melodies furnish morning and evening calls, dinner chimes, vesper calls, and serve as a splendid family entertainment... For the main door a new and different Westminster refrain is played for each new caller, furnishing a harmonious variety of chime melodies that never grow stale... Telechime tubes for the lowest note are 58 in. long and 1-1/4 in. in diameter, sounding deep, mellow cathedral chime notes impossible with shorter tubes or smaller diameter. ... Swedish hand-finished aluminum or bronze cast grill for recess of Aristocrat can be furnished.

It is hard to imagine that such luxury items would have been in large demand in the darkest days of the Great Depression…which perhaps explains the eventual failure of the company. For a time Bossard lived very well in a grand tudor mansion in Dayton known as “Normandy Castle”  which had served as the model home- a new idea at the time-  when the swank neighborhood was developed.  Descendants recall that he enjoyed lavish European tours.  By about 1940, the money was exhausted, and Bossard and one of his sons made do by repairing chimes.  The latest chime patent authored by Bossard that I found (filed July 1937, granted October 1939) was assigned to “Mary Agnew of Hopkinsville Kentucky”, a name that I am entirely unfamiliar with, but noteworthy in that it was not assigned to General Kontrolar, which presumably was defunct by the grant date.  Perhaps also telling is that it was not granted to his ex-associate Corbett, who by 1939 had gotten Nutone up and running strong.

From Kontrolar’s brief glory days, Bossard’s grandson describes a 1930s (probably 1937) New York Times article regarding how a Telechime carillon was employed to ring carols to accompany the lighting of the national Christmas tree in Washington D.C. To assure safely for president Franklin Roosevelt as he flipped the switch on, Bossard was required to use a transformer to lower the voltage of the power running through the switch.

Circumstances surrounding General Kontrolar suggested to me that G.L.Bossard could have been the anonymous "Dayton Man" in the story of Nutone's earliest history. Consider:

  • Bossard lived in Dayton.
  • He was in the door chime business in the early 1930’s.
  • He was a prolific inventor.
  • His ideas for chimes were complicated and would have been very expensive to produce.
  • He suffered financial collapse in the late 1930’s.

After some searching, I was able to contact grandsons of Bossard, and they confirmed my suspicions.  The Bossard family lore is that  General Kontrolar and NuTone were "interwoven"; Bossard did the inventing, Corbett did the marketing and sales, and somehow Corbett ended up with all the money.  It seems that Bossard's records were intact until 1990 when his son died, at which time most of the records were discarded. Memories of stories told by a grandfather decades ago are all that remain... that and  the Corbett version of events, which has a considerably different tone.  Survivors and victors do, after all, write the history. Anyone have additional info on this pivotal event  in chime history ?

Today, Telechime products are extremely rare.  I recently saw a simple 2-note compact resonator chime offered on eBay.  I know of three others still in existence.  One is an example of the amazing Aristocrat. which remains in the possession of the Bossard family . I speculate that it may be a prototype, and perhaps the only one that was made.   Another is the infamous "buried treasure" chime, featured elsewhere in this site.  And the other, currently offered for sale on this site. While perhaps just a few Telechimes were made, in a way, every NuTone product carries a tiny bit of the General Kontrolar genetic fabric.

 

A.E.Rittenhouse Company, Inc., Honeoye Falls, New York

Founded in 1903 by Arthur E. Rittenhouse  (1878-1965)

Later managed by his son Lloyd Rittenhouse  (approx 1915 – 2003)

The following was sent to me by the village historian of Honeoye Falls NY, in reply to my request for information about the history of Rittenhouse Chimes.  It appears that it was written in the mid 1970’s.

A.E.Rittenhouse History 

Emerson Electric has been providing jobs and producing quality products since 1890 when it was founded in St.Louis.  Emerson ahs been responsible for major developments in electrical manufacturing. Currently, Emerson is engaged principally in the manufacture and sale of a broad range of electrical/electronic products.  These products and systems are sold primarily through independent distributors and to original equipment manufactures and to a lesser extent to retailers and other users.  

The Rittenhouse Company was founded in 1903 by Arthur E. Rittenhouse and had its beginnings as a manufacturer of small electrical devices and wiring accessories.  One of the first successful hand conduit-benders was a patented invention of the founder and was one of the first products made by the new company.  

In spite of its long history as a transformer manufacturer, Rittenhouse is probably most widely known today for its door chime line. Rittenhouse first entered the field back in 1935 at a time when the chime idea was very much an underdeveloped novelty.  At the time Rittenhouse entered the field, there were only about three companies making chimes—mostly the old, established signaling equipment companies.  Within the next three or four years, no less than fifteen new manufacturers entered the field and during the late 1930’s the industry went through usual growing pains of having the market flooded with a lot of inexpensive and poorly designed merchandise.  As usually happens, most of these newcomers dropped out of business and today, there are again only about four chime manufacturers in the US.

 Through experience and know-how, Rittenhouse was responsible for many new developments and innovations in this business. Among these were the first multi-note, bar-type chime (sometimes called a resonator or short tube type of chime), the first “dollar” chime – long since a casualty of inflation – the first floating percussion chime striker.  

At this time, Arthur Rittenhouse’s son Lloyd joined his father in the business and started devoting full time to developing new chime ideas and designs. In 1941, Lloyd Rittenhouse was made president of the company when his father retired.  

During World War II. The company converted to war production and was busily engaged in the fabrication and assembly of aircraft radio equipment.  During the war, employment reached a peak and experience was gained that was to serve well in later years when the company entered the residential radio-intercom business.  

In 1952, the Rittenhouse and Pryne companies joined sales forces and the outcome of this was the formation of the Pryne-Rittenhouse Sales Corporation.  Then in 1957, the Pryne Company merged with Emerson thus beginning the association of Emerson and Rittenhouse. This relationship was formally consummated in the form of a merger on October 31, 1961.  

At about this time, research and development came up with our first intercom, the RM-1.  Since the first effort in electronics, we now have a line of electronic products which includes radio-intercom systems, intrusion systems and a programmable door chime.  

Another product added tiot he Rittenhouse family of products is a surface mounted intercom which is available with or without the radio feature.  

The chime is probably the most well known product at Rittenhouse.  Since 1974 and electronic chime has been installed on luxury automobiles of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.    

A.E.Rittenhouse Timeline 

1903
Arthur Rittenhouse began company to make a toy electric aeroplane and a hand operated conduit bender
 
After World War 1
Began to manufacture small audio and R.F. transformers for the new radio industry.  Introduced a line of low voltage doorbell transformers.  Grew from 5 to 35 employees.
 
1926
A disastrous fire wiped out the entire business.  A new plant was built (which is now the old plant) and expanded three times.
 
1930
Business was incorporated.
 
1935
Rittenhouse invented, developed and introduced the first electric door chime and sold by direct mail through the Saturday Evening Post.  Sold products through manufacturer’s representatives.
 
1941
Lloyd Rittenhouse named president. World War II production- aircraft radio components.
 
1945
Domestic production of the door chime resumed.
 
1950
Entered the radio intercom systems business.  Later, introduced the first transistorized radio intercom.
 
1952
Joined with Pryne manufacturing Co. to form Pryne/Rittenhouse sales force.
 
1957
Pryne Manufacturing Co. was acquired by Emerson Electric Co.
 
1960
Rittenhouse merged with Emerson
 
1966
New plant built- 35000 sqft combined with the old plant of 25000 sqft.
 
1968
Joined with the Atrtolier Lighting Co. to form a new division.
 
1969
Lloyd Rittenhouse retired from Emerson Electric
 
1974
Became a separate division of Emerson Electric Co. along with the Pryne line.
 
1975
Sold Artolier Lighting to NuTone.  Entered the automotive industry with a chime signaling device for seal belt warning systems.
 
1978
plant expansion of 43,000 sqft added (completion January 1979).  Now 103,000 sqft.
 
1980
Introduced an electronic programmable door chime.

Since the above document was written, the company has changed hands at least one more time.  In 1988 whatever remained of Rittenhouse was sold to Fasco, operating in the same building that was constructed in the 1960's, but now making electronic components mostly for automotive applications.

Note the emphatic statement that Rittenhouse invented electric chimes in 1935.  The patent record makes it crystal clear that such claim is simply not true.  It is however likely that the first Rittenhouse chime dates to 1935. 

There are a few interesting footnotes that I have uncovered about Rittenhouse. One of the very few references to be found on the web for this company concerns an electric powered model airplane: 

Possibly a predecessor to the control model airplane was an electrically powered model airplane produced by A.E.Rittenhouse of Honeoye Falls, New York.  Introduced in 1913 and produced for almost twenty years, these models would take off and fly in a circle by a  combination of centrifugal force and the power of the wings while tethered to a revolving ceiling fixture by two light wires.  The heart of the system was the special swiveling counterbalance mounted on a screw hook that was inserted in the ceiling of the room where the model was to be flown. Electrical power was from 6 to 12 volts AC or DC and could be operated from dry cells, a storage battery, or alternating or direct current by means of a transformer or direct current reducer. The first model airplane introduced by Rittenhouse in 1913 as a 22-inch wingspan model of a Bleriot that could be flown in a circle of 5 to 100 feet in diameter and would attain an actual speed of 12 miles per hour on 8 dry cells.  By 1915 two more airplanes ...

Design at Rittenhouse
I find little background info about Lloyd Rittenhouse on the web, but there is one mention that he was a promising painter in his youth and hoped to pursue a career in art. It seems those aspirations were put aside as he studied electrical engineering and later took over the helm of his father's company. However, many of the company's design patents are authored by Lloyd.  I would say he did a decent job of acting as amateur industrial designer.  It is also apparent that he had some interest and respect for the design profession. I find a web reference that Rittenhouse was a client of pioneering industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes for a chimes design project during years 1942-1946.    It's also clear that Russell Wright did some work for Rittenhouse, as I have seen two models where the Wright attribution is molded into the chime cover.  To my knowledge, these are the only doorbells with a designer's name marked right on them.

 

Edwards and Company Inc,   Norwalk Connecticut and Montreal Canada

Founded in 1872 by Robert S. Edwards and David Rousseau

Finding solid info on the history of Edwards chime business has proven elusive, which is a bit surprising as that company was a significant player in the industry. There is clear evidence that they had a well developed musical door chime product as early as 1934. Specifically the evidence that I have is a sales sheet dating from March 1935, noted as a replacement page for an earlier version dating from April 1934.  The products depicted are two similar models of 2-note longbell chimes, one with a very deluxe cast brass cover.  These products are important as they are to my knowledge the earliest production long bell chimes… clearly preceding any made by Rittenhouse and predating even the formation of Nutone.  In addition, there is a sales sheet depicting a simple low cost 1- and 2- note bar chimes, dated August 1937, noted as replacing a page dated September 1936.   This is significant as it predates patents filed by Rittenhouse for similar products, and probably undermines any claim by Nutone to have “invented” low cost chimes. 

By my observations, Edwards largely abandoned the fancy chime business in roughly 1960, but carried on in a big way but the security products market.  Edwards and Company is known today as Edwards Signaling and Security Systems, maker of commercial security components, now a division of General Electric. There are still a few mundane doorbells in their catalog.   

Here a few noteworthy dates for the company, found at their website:

1872- Edwards and Company was founded by Robert Edwards & David Rousseau to explore the new phenomenon of "Electricity" and to manufacture, sell and install battery-operated gas-fixture igniters. Among the company's first customers, a New York City church where sextons previously had climbed a 100-foot ladder to light gas fixtures located high above the pews.

1873 Rousseau withdrew from the partnership and his place was taken by Adam Lungen. They invented and developed an electric doorbell and a burglar alarm.

1880- Edwards Company left the basement of the Lungen family's jewelry store, moved into a three-story plant, and began manufacturing wooden conduits and housings for burglar alarms.

1881- Robert Edwards obtained his first patent for an electric bell. Other patents quickly followed: a drop-type annunciator (1882); an electric gas burner lighter for push-button operation (1883); and an electric door opener (1884).

1884- Edwards displayed its wares at the first electrical show in the United States. Held in Philadelphia, it was called the "Electrical Exhibit, National Conference of Electricians."

1886- Along with burglar alarms and fixture igniters, the Edwards catalog listed for the first time electrically wound clocks, program systems, and coils.

1950- New Edwards plant in Canada opened at Owen Sound, Ontario.

Today. . . With headquarters in Cheshire, CT, manufacturing and distribution locations in Pittsfield, ME and Owen Sound, Ontario, and Sales and Service locations around the world, it seems a long way back to the basement of Lungen's jewelry store. Yet, many of the different products that Edwards makes today, are direct descendants of the gas fixture igniters, electric bells and program systems that went into the design and construction of structures over one hundred years ago.

  

Other Companies

Below is list of chime makers that I have found, with whatever scant info I have. 
 
Alhambra
Located in Alhambra CA, Greater LosAngeles
 
Carlton Corporation
Manchester, Connecticut
Product label reads: Cartone Door Chimes & Signals
 
Harmony Manufacturing Company
730 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles
 
Liberty
 
Mell-O-Chime & Signal Corp
119 S Jefferson Street 
Chicago 6 Illinois
 
Pryne & Company, Inc
Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York
Chimes made under the Pryanco brand.  Better known as a supplier of exhaust fans. Absorbed by Rittenhouse in 1957
 
Schwarze Electric Company
Adrian, Michigan
Known as a supplier of automotive accessories, especially electric horns and wipers. References found from the 1920's thru WW2 era.
 
Softone
Possibly a sub brand or perhaps a licensee of Rittenhouse for low cost chimes
 
Tele-tone
 

Patents

Below is a list of all patentsI have found related to musical door chimes, arranged in order of filling date.  You can view the content of any of these patents at the US Patent Office website:  www.uspto.gov

 

patent number

1835901

notes

file date

04/17/1930

Describes a chime with motorized rotary distributor which actuates solenoids to strike tubular bells. This one cited in other NuTone patents.  Probably the core i.p. for all multi-note chimes that use a rotary distributor, which means almost every motored chime by NuTone, Rittenhouse and Edwards. That this patent was not assigned to any company means they could have licensed it to others.  That I found this number referenced on a NuTone chime makes clear that they did just that.  If they played their cards right, they should have made buckets of money.  Who were these guys anyway? I can’t find any reference to them anywhere. 

grant date

12/08/1931

authors

Paul M. Rodet
John R.Christensen
Medford A.Grieve

attorney

Hazard and Miller

assigned to

none

venue

LosAngeles CA

Title

Automatic Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

1831552

notes

file date

06/30/1930

Describes a complex motor driven chime mechanism that drives cam-actuated hammers.

grant date

11/10/1931

authors

G.L.Bossard

attorney

Marechal & Noe

assigned to

General Kontrolar Co.

venue

Dayton OH

Title

Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

1960079

notes

file date

08/22/1931

Describes a frighteningly complicated motor driven chime that actuates solenoids for the door chime sequence, but also allows striking individual notes for other purposes, like servant bells, or other domestic alerts. 

grant date

05/22/1934

authors

G.L.Bossard

attorney

Marechal & Noe

assigned to

General Kontrolar Co.

venue

Dayton OH

title

Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

1924395

notes

file date

03/23/1932

Describes  a chime with motorized rotary distributor that actuates solenoids to strike bells.  Seems similar in concept to the Rodet patent, but much more complicated.  Illustration shows a tall grandfather clock-like cabinet.

 

grant date

08/29/1933

authors

G.L.Bossard

attorney

Marechal & Noe

assigned to

General Kontrolar Co.

venue

Dayton OH

title

Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

2120153

notes

file date

11/30/1936

 

grant date

06/07/1938

authors

Arthur E. Rittenhouse

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

Title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

2133911

notes

file date

10/07/1937

 

grant date

10/18/1938

authors

Lowell M. Alexander

attorney

Wood & Wood

assigned to

NuTone Chimes Inc.

venue

Cincinnati

Title

Musical Chime

 

 

 

 

 

 

patent number

2147498

notes

file date

11/18/1937

 

grant date

02/14/1939

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

Title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

2164839

notes

file date

10/12/1938

 

grant date

07/04/1939

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

Assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

Title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

2177515

notes

file date

07/21/1937

Describes a chime with motorized rotary distributor that actuates solenoids to strike bells.  Seems similar in concept to the Rodet patent, but much more complicated.  Illustration shows the distributor as a separate unit from the striker assembly.

 

grant date

10/24/1939

authors

G.L.Bossard

attorney

Marechal & Noe

assigned to

Mary Agnew

Hopkinsville KY

venue

Dayton OH

Title

Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

2189181

notes

file date

06/20/1938

 

grant date

02/06/1940

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

Title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

2206837

notes

file date

03/06/1939

 

grant date

07/02/1940

authors

Robert S. Edwards

attorney

William T. Kuiewer

assigned to

NuTone Chimes

venue

New Canaan CT

title

Signaling Apparatus

 

 

 

 

patent number

2219036

notes

file date

3/14/1939

Describes a two solenoid, two bell chime.  The distinctive feature is that the bells has an end plug that consists of a solid rod anvil that protrudes above the tubular bell; that is the part that the solenoid plunger strikes.  The purpose is to create better tone with a low powered solenoid. 

grant date

10/22/1940

authors

Fred Mason

attorney

Wood & Wood

assigned to

NuTone Chimes

venue

Covington KY

Title

Tubular Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

2227227

notes

file date

12/01/1938

grant date

12/31/1940

authors

Fred Mason

attorney

Wood & Wood

assigned to

NuTone Chimes

venue

Covington KY

Title

Musical Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

2230762

notes

file date

06/05/1939

 

grant date

02/04/1941

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

2240378

notes

file date

12/18/1939

 

grant date

04/29/1941

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

 

patent number

2245443

notes

file date

09/18/1940

Describes the wickedly ingenious dashpot sealed distributor. Until I found his patent, I thought it had been designed by Satan.

grant date

06/10/1941

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Electric Timing Mechanism

 

 

 

 

patent number

2245453

notes

file date

04/15/1940

Describes a twin solenoid mechanism with one of the solenoids angled so as to make for more compact device. Includes a conical end plug for one of the bells to accommodate the approach of the angled solenoid.  Known to be used in the Rittenhouse 3-Star model. 

grant date

06/10/1941

authors

Glenn E. Warren

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

2247641

notes

file date

04/04/1940

Describes a 2-note longbell chime that uses a single springless solenoid to achieve 2-notes.The solenoid moves a  hammer to strike the first note on the power stoke, and gravity causes the hammer to return and strike the second note.  

grant date

O7/01/1941

authors

Morris L. Pearl

attorney

Harry Langsam

assigned to

Pearlplan Mfg. Co.

venue

Philadelphia PA

title

Electric Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

2263051

notes

file date

02/05/1940

Describes an odd 2-bell chime that uses a thermal switch to time the strike of the second note and create a brief time-out before the chime will operate again. Known to be used in the Rittenhouse Vogue model.

grant date

11/18/1941

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

Kenneth M. Lord

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Signal Device

 

 

 

 

patent number

D124993

notes

file date

06/17/1940

 Design patent of NuTone Mt. Vernon model, authored by the chief himself.  Hey—maybe that’s why it was in the catalog for decades.  

grant date

02/04/1941

authors

Joseph R. Corbett

attorney

Wood & Wood

assigned to

NuTone Chimes

venue

Sharonville OH

title

Musical Chime

 

 

 

 

patent number

2265815

notes

file date

12/24/1940

Describes a two-solenoid, two-note flat bell resonator chime. The unique feature is that the flat bells are housed entirely inside the resonator tubes.

grant date

12/09/1941

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Chime Signal

 

 

 

 

patent number

2278587

notes

file date

09/18/1940

Describes a chime assembly with 3 flat bells, 3 resonator tubes and a dashpot sequencer.  As used in Model 520 Beverly.

grant date

04/07/1942

authors

Lloyd Rittenhouse

attorney

Harold E. Stonebraker

assigned to

A.E. Rittenhouse Co.

venue

Honeoye Falls NY

title

Chime Signal

 

 

 

 

patent number

2466640

notes

file date

12/16/1946

Describes a novel way to change the angle of a simple sheet metal bell hanger on a twin bell chime chassis, thereby fine-tuning the distance between bell and solenoid.  Used on NuTone model K30 and perhaps others.

grant date

04/05/1949

authors

Alfred W. Gardes

attorney

not legible

assigned to

NuTone

venue

Evanston IL

title

Adjustable Hanger for Chime Elements

 

 

 

 

patent number

 

notes

file date

 

 

grant date

 

authors

 

attorney

 

assigned to

 

venue

 

title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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