This Is Why They Call It A Door Bell

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Do you wonder sometimes about modern vernacular or phraseology?

Why we "dial" the phone comes to mind.  Or ask for "cream" and sugar?

So, when we push a button near the front door and get an electronic tone (or sometimes a little song or clock chime), why do we call pushing that button "ringing the door bell?"

I saw this on the inside of a door recently.

This house was built in 1882.  It looks to me to still have the original door!

I don't know if this is original, but I recognize it from my grandmother's house, built 1910 in Washington DC.

It is a door bell!

And that's exactly what it is.

Outside the door bell  is this.

It is what rings  the door bell!

Turning it cranks a little hammer inside the bell, causing the door bell  to ring  furiously!

The ring  can be heard throughout the house.  It is loud!

It sounds like a bell  because it is a bell!

Many people probably come to that door and know what this funny little handle is, or wonder what it is, or instinctively know they should turn it and make a sound. 

THERE IS NO BUTTON TO PUSH!

No matter what, turning the handle makes for a very antique sound!  And it brought back memories for me.

My recommendation:  sometimes the olden days had good ideas.  And sometimes those ideas still work as well now as they did then.

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainer
53,065
Eric Galuppo
Real Estate Rev - More Leads Means More Revenue

I’ve suddenly remembered my old windup alarm clock because of that photo Jay. Same way to make sound. Just turn it, turn it and turn it. 

Jan 24, 2014 10:39 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,767,082
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Holy Cow Jay, that looks like a wireless doorbell! 

Funny how the names carry on when the products change so much.

Jan 24, 2014 11:01 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I bet they are all over Richmond, Shannon!  And on the houses with the plaques that say Civil War Historic Home, like they do in Gettysburg.

Maybe soon Tom.  It works like a charm.

I used a wind-up clock all during college, Eric.  And a manual typewriter!  Yikes!

We say a lot of things that are just ingrained into the vernacular Tom.  And where are the upgrades in language?! 

Oh, I remember one - "spam" has changed and upgraded!

 

Jan 25, 2014 01:18 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,279,027
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Jay~ I'm a sucker for nostalgia. We are doing some cleaning at our house (new construction, only 7 years old) and I was moving some old record albums, 33s. Wow, was that a blast from the past!

Jan 25, 2014 03:05 AM #13
Rainer
172,981
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

Every time I see one of those in a really old house I think it's really neat the way they did that.  Although I don't know what's so hard about knocking! 

Jan 25, 2014 04:22 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Donna - my son (35 years old) has a turn table and now and then I give him an old album or two for fun.  I still have a bunch!

Because there's a bell Marc!  The bell really does sound cool.

 

Jan 25, 2014 05:06 AM #15
Rainmaker
2,704,850
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Jay,

Your post brought back lovely memories from my childhood when we had an 1890's Victorian home with a real door bell!

Jan 25, 2014 07:30 AM #16
Rainer
412,823
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Jay, my grandfather and grandmother's house on my dad's side had one like this at their house.  I rang it when I was arriving, when I was there, and when I was leaving.  I love it!

I hope to get that bell off the house someday, if they decide to sell or tear it down (it's in estate now).

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Jan 25, 2014 07:56 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

So, Lisa, it was wireless and greener than anything produced today.  Right?

I wonder if those can be bought today from one of these resoration companies Jeremy?  I would bet so.

Here you go!  http://www.houseofantiquehardware.com/antique-door-hardware/mechanical-twist-doorbell

Jan 25, 2014 08:14 AM #18
Rainer
3,188
Gary DeWitt
Burbank, CA

Jay - I love running across one of these, I found one on a 1920s house recently.

Marc - I'm reminded of the scene re: "big knockers" from the movie "Young Frankenstein".

Jan 25, 2014 01:30 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I see them from time to time Gary. 

And the follow up line was?

"Sank you!"

Jan 25, 2014 02:11 PM #20
Rainmaker
441,717
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Jay, I love those old true door bells and the big knockers. Our little town dates back to 1709 and there a lot of both still around.

Jan 25, 2014 10:42 PM #21
Rainer
220,151
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

I've never seen those before Jay. Now I know where the term comes from!

Jan 25, 2014 10:52 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I think they are fabulous Tom, every time I see them!

Have you ever dialed a phone Suzanne?

Jan 26, 2014 01:47 AM #23
Rainmaker
2,704,850
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Yes, it certainly was...odd how "green" things were back in the "old" days...

Jan 26, 2014 05:28 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The greenest thing about the old days was that stuff lasted a really long time Lisa.

Jan 26, 2014 07:31 AM #25
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I have run into these old door bells on occasion. Pretty cool to see that kind of stuff. 

Jan 27, 2014 01:24 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I always ring them Jim!  They also remind me of the old Good Humor trucks.

Jan 27, 2014 04:12 AM #27
Rainmaker
4,104,687
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jay, what a unique door bell, and we have some older homes (100 years), but none with these!

Jan 29, 2014 10:22 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,850,097
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, that's a big bummer Joan!  They are here for sure.

Jan 29, 2014 10:38 AM #29
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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