Car Horn History

Car Horn History

There is one part of the automobile that helps save lives, infuriates other drivers, and causes sleepless nights for many city dwellers all at the same time: the car horn.

The humble car horn doesn’t get much love, yet it was one of the first accessories fitted to horseless carriages at the dawn of the first automobile.

Some people honk out of frustration, while others will honk their horn to prevent accidents or warn other drivers. Others honk when seeing a long lost pal on a street corner.


Early Car Horns History

Horns go way back to the mid-1800’s in Britain where steam powered carriages were just starting to be used. For pedestrians and animals safety, a law was made stating that self-propelled vehicles on public roads must be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag and blowing a horn. However, it did not take long to realize that a horn mounted on the car was more efficient than someone walking in front of the car blowing a horn, which lasted for about ten years or so.

In the early 1900’s, when cars started to be driven in America, the car-mounted horn became the attention-getting device for drivers. A squeeze on the bulb and everyone around knew you and your car were close by. According to Atlantic Lexus in Farmingdale, NY, some people wanted a more powerful warning device, one that could be heard at least an eighth of a mile ahead.


Evolved Horns

The Klaxon horn came around by the 1920’s. A Klaxon horn, the Greek word klaxo means “to shriek” so, this Klaxon horn used to make the sound through an electrically-powered vibrating diaphragm.

The Klaxon horn is the “Aoogha” horns on the Model T and Model A Fords of the 1920’s and 1930’s. That type of horn is probably one of the most memorable in automotive history. The horns were loud and effective at getting pedestrians and animals out of the way. Inventor Miller Rees Hutchinson was responsible for the Klaxon horn’s release to vehicles.

Since the 1930’s, manufacturers have experimented with the sound chamber and basic Klaxon-type diaphragm to make sounds.


Modern Car Horns

Up until the middle of the 1960’s the majority of American car horns were tuned to the musical notes of E-flat or C. Due to vehicles’ better sound proofing, they are more often tuned to notes F-sharp and A-sharp that are more penetrating.

The design of car horns has also entered the digital era with some car horns being really just powerful speakers that electronic circuitry drives. Although, we now have such high-tech designs but the old-fashioned vibrating diaphragm horn is still around, as it works well and is a super great example of staying with a technology that performs the job well at the 110 decibels of sound it puts out.


Today’s Car Horns

Boom Blasters is an innovative car horn manufacturer that has been in business since 2007 and continues to follow the growing demand to manufacturer car horns that can be programmed to play certain sounds.

We have just about any sound that you can think of and more…if we don’t have the sound that you are looking for, then we have the first ever programmable car horn available…

Check out our Big Bubba car horns right here…

Here at Boom Blasters we strive to bring our customers quality car horns at a reasonable price.


Car Horn Regulations

Horns are mandatory on cars, but each state determines what is and isn’t legal in regards to car horns. These regulations are typically in regards to the maximum allowed decibels as well as how audible they are — essentially balancing the need for the horns to be heard while keeping them from becoming unnecessarily loud.

For example, California’s rules dictate that a horn should be audible from at least 200 feet away, but it should not be “unreasonably loud.” Aftermarket horns are also limited to no more than 110 decibels. This 200 foot rule is common in many states, and most car manufacturers monitor the decibel levels on their car horns to keep them within reasonable limits.

We hope you enjoyed this article about the history of car horns.

Boom Blasters horns are a novelty car horn and is not intended, nor should it be used, as a replacement for your standard automobile horn. Please use Boom Blasters horns in a respectable and responsible manner at all times. And have fun with your Boom Blasters car horn.