Right Around the time Sophie Cubbison invented packaged poultry stuffing in the early 1930's, Joseph Klein patented a long chime doorbell with a concealed mechanism that he marketed under the Velvatone name.
With success from popularizing her stuffing, Mrs. Cubbison built a spectacular Spanish Revival home in Los Angeles' Mt. Washington neighborhood.
Mrs. Cubbison helped design the two-story house, dubbed "Casa de Mi Sueño," or "My Dream House." It is considered "much more convincing than most of the 19th-century adobes," according to David Gebhard and Robert Winter's "An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles."
The home features oak doors, custom iron work and stone floors. And it has a unique chime niche that measures an unusually narrow five inches wide and 50 inches tall.
Even after a meticulous restoration, the doorbell niche remained empty until the current owner contacted ElectraChime. With some internet sleuthing, the owner had determined the original chime was likely one of Mr. Klein's Velvatone doorbells as the missing mechanism appeared to have been recessed at the top of the niche. Another clue being that Velvatone had a sales office in Los Angeles.
Alas, Velvatone was an also ran in doorbells. Today, as Mrs Cubbison might have quipped, Velvatone doorbells are about as common as hen's teeth.
With a surviving Velvatone catalog from the ElectraChime collection for reference, we determined the original chime was almost certainly a single bell model. Armed with this information and an original patent drawing, ElectraChime built a highly credible reproduction to do the niche proud.
Once more, the Cubbison house has all the trimmings.
If you are looking for a special custom doorbell for your own home contact us.
Remember visiting the hardware department with your father and then wondering off to play with the doorbell display? Oh how we must have drove those store clerks to distraction by pushing all the buttons!
Door Chimes are meant to be heard and seen, so naturally customers needed to know what they sounded like and working displays were common.
Door chime displays range from simple counter-top mechanical demonstrators to wall dominating extravaganzas like these 1930s Rittenhouse demonstrators.
Today, through the magic of the internet, you can hear just how delightful ElectraChime long tubular bells sound. Of course, the online experience is only as good as the speakers on your phone, tablet or computer. We believe ElectraChimes sound best in person.
So go ahead, press play to hear our doorbells. Better still, click on any of photos in our catalog and see for yourself how great ElectraChimes look, and sound.
Photos courtesy of Dave B
Here's an inside and outside view of Dave and Lisa's doorbell system at their charming St. Louis cottage. The doorbell button is just beneath the electrically illuminated house numbers. And the whole number panel is hinged to serve as a letter slot for the mail. A three in one.
Of course, we're equally partial to the ElectraChime Empire door chime with Seashell inlay with brass bells in the niche. It's a perfect choice for a traditional decor.
In the 1930s, doorbells that rang like an alarm were considered at best, annoying, and at worst, as dangerous to ones health. After electric lights, doorbells were often the second residential electrical appliance in a home. Early doorbells were exactly that: bells which sounded like a fire alarm. Thus door chimes were marketed to combat "Public Noise Enemy #1" and calm "Doorbell Nerves".
Sure, early doorbells alerted you that somebody was at the door but it was like hitting you over the head with a hammer!. In the 1930s door chimes saved the day by treating the world to a much more pleasant sound by striking one or more tubular bells or metal xylophone-like tone bars.
Today, door chimes produce the ubiquitous "ding-dong" sound we know today. For more on the subject of door chimes vs doorbells, please see the article on my sister site, the Doorbell Museum.
We've been so busy making doorbells, we haven't had a chance to update our website, until now. And you are one of the first users.
This is our website's third iteration since we built our first ElectraChime in 2004. Today, we introduce nickel-plated brass bells that perfectly complement today's most popular choices in hardware and appliances. Our latest doorbell, the versatile Coronet, is our first painted chime.
A special shout-out to Sam, Michelle and Dylan at Flight LLC for their talent, imagination and patience.
So please come in and look around. And if you find a typo, please bring it to our attention.