- Upper Terrace
- Mulholland Drive
- Studio City
- copper & oak
- Sycamore Canyon
- Nouveau bell buttons
- hammered copper bell buttons
- Rustic buttons
- Slate & pewter buttons
- chime sound
- chime mechanism
We arrived at the realization that residences in the craftsman architectural style including bungalows, American Foursquare, Greene and Greene style superbungalows, chalet style, and Spanish revival were disproportionately lacking in the ability to look extraordinary in the doorbell category. Most craftsman doorbells available were characteristically unsightly. Remarkably, cases were made of plastic and were either conventional or exhibited kind of a 1970s counterfeit woodgrain look. That was pathetic compared to a copper craftsman doorbell. So we undertook the responsibility of designing and building craftsman style doorbells that were arguably high style, and additionally made of materials that were historically appropriate. The consequential result was an appealing antidote to the prevailing colonialism, and insinuated counterintuitive decorating themes into the commercialization of the times. Experimentation generated satisfactory results.
Many of our arts and crafts doorbells characteristics are architectural quality solid quartersawn white oak with a hand blended stain. Every individual craftsman doorbell is magnificently made in the United States. Additionally, we also have an assortment of models manufactured of solid cherry wood or mahogany. We even have a model that features exotic inlays for the ultimate in beautification. That would be the Hanover model.
One clarification. The chime mechanisms for our craftsman doorbells feature mechanical strikers that hit metal bars. This is important if you want to achieve authentic vintage metallic sounds as opposed to the often heard electronic tone, which frankly is a regrettable artifact of runaway computerization. By the way, if you are an aficionado of mechanical ringers you should check out our antique telephones site. Trust us when we say these are much less frustrating than a modern cell phone.
Many years ago we offered doorbells with long tubular chimes that played the Westminster chime melody. Those also featured mechanical strikers. At the time there was only one company that made that chime mechanism, and they have terminated production long ago. It is regrettable because that was really a very appealing and nostalgic look and sound. If you know of a source for these mechanisms please let us know as we would like to start offering them again. If you are mechanically inclined maybe you could start manufacturing your own mechanism. As of now there is no competition!
The doorbell cases we make are new, different, and vintage looking and will annihilate ones agnosticism to historic decor. They are designed to hang on a standard chime mechanism and as a result are uncomplicated to remove. That is convenient for the times when you want to repaint the room and prefer not to get paint splatters all over the impressive looking doorbell cover. Although most of the designs we have come up with are best suited for classic Americana craftsman homes, we also have some that complement other distinctive architectural styles. Furthermore, a rustic log cabin or Adirondack lodge look is a natural fit for the North Mountain dual chime, Overbluff, Edgecliff, Mulholland Drive, Studio City, and several others.
Craftsman doorbells as they existed at the height of the era in about 1900-1930 were primarily just a cacophonous buzzer and did not feature any typical craftsman styling. Many houses did not have a doorbell of any sort. It became abundantly clear to us that creating a look that would complement traditional arts and crafts styling could be accomplished in woods such as quartersawn white oak, or metals such as copper for the discriminating old house aficionado intent on the beautification of their domicile.
To reproduce a look that would resemble the hypothetical craftsman style doorbells of yesteryear, we considered and ultimately adopted motifs such as the four square pacific motif popularized by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the hand hammering of copper often seen associated with Roycroft, and the equilateral shaped ebony plugs as often used by Greene and Greene. For authenticity we chose to employ skilled American artisans rather than rely on low quality work provided by workers abroad, in locations that shall remain nameless. Craftsman doorbells are best made by craftsmen.
Wired craftsman doorbells use a transformer that converts the 120 volt house wiring down to about ten to sixteen volts. Interesting tidbit: back in the old days a large dry cell battery was used. It is very rare to find electrical problems with the transformer, although it can happen. Replacements can be found at your local big box store for very inexpensively. Wireless doorbells use a transformer that is about twenty-four volts. You never want to connect that to a regular wired chime mechanism, or you'll destroy the electromagnets in the unit very quickly. The voltage is simply too high. Usually if doorbells stop operating it is corroded contacts in the doorbell button itself. The buttons are located outside the house and are exposed to varying unfavorable conditions and humidity that can cause oxidation on the contacts. Doorbell buttons are pretty inexpensive to replace, or you can often clean the corrosion off the contacts with a product like Deoxit F5. Chime mechanisms a place to look if you are having problems.They sometimes get damaged when people bump them with ladders when painting. Exercising reasonable caution will keep you from having difficulties with the chime unit.