Ok, so maybe
this topic isn’t entirely mid-century and not necessarily modern, but I have
developed an interest in long-bell door chimes. It all started with a 1959
vintage NuTone Supreme that was original equipment here at EurekaModern World
Headquarters. It didn’t really fit with the décor scheme for our renovation
plan, so I did some repair to it and sold it on eBay. Pleased with the way
that went, I kept a lookout for more that I might restore and sell. After
renovating a number of these I have developed a fair knowledge of how they
work, what goes wrong with them, and how to repair them. If you have come
to this page looking for repair advice, read on!
Most of what I
know about vintage chimes is covered on these pages. If my experience
is helpful to you for your renovation project, glad I could help. Or, if it all
sounds like more than you care to take on, maybe you need my help. See the
If you are
visiting for the first time, I advise you to read through all the subjects.
Just for the
record… this is a hobby for me. I am
glad to share info, and happy to answer questions. All I ask in return
is that you share any knowledge you have that will add to the collective
and any tips on chimes that are available greatly appreciated.
I am a
recovering collector. I love to buy things, but for me it’s all about catch
and release now. I have many chimes currently in process and all are for
sale. In a way,
I have the largest collection of doorbells in the world... I
keep it on the walls of homes across America.
If you seek
a magnificently restored chime in perfect working order for your wall, check
vintage chimes for sale page. If you are looking for the very best
in stylish new chimes, see the
new chimes for sale
This site is
mostly about 4-note long bell chimes, though much of the info here can be
applied to 2-note long bells and various compact chimes.
the basic workings of a four-note chime, there are three essential components:
electrical distributor that sequences power to…
2 - a set of
solenoids that strike…
3 - a set of
distributor is very much like a distributor in a car: a commutator passes
over a set of contacts, sequentially sending power to the solenoids.
A solenoid is
an electromagnetic device with a field coil surrounding a cylinder and
plunger. When the field coil is charged the plunger is forced forward,
striking the bell, making one of the bells sound.
The bells are
straight forward—pretty much like your garden variety wind chimes.
with four bells typically provide a few ringing options. Some of the
earliest models play just the first four notes of the classic Westminster
Chimes sequence. Many later models play the 8-note Westminster Chimes
sequence, and some of these have an option to play an abbreviated 4-note
sequence. A few extra fancy models allow selection of various chime
sequences. Typically one or two other stations can be set to ring single
notes, sometimes labeled as “back” and “side” doors.
So what could
possibly go wrong?
each topic for information on that subject.
I am a
lot more skilled at fixing old door chimes than I am dealing with search
engine optimization, so here a a few terms and phrases that might help
surfers find me.
door bell vintage doorbell vintage doorbells
vintage door bells antique door bell antique door bells
antique doorbell antique doorbells