What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

Doorbells are generally buttons to be pushed, rarely if ever pulled. Sometimes these buttons are illuminated, though generally not. The ones that are illuminated don’t merely help guide the visitor’s finger; they also surface the fact of the electricity that mediates the interaction: that the bell, like the light, is the result of the AC power of the building into which entrance is being requested. Doorbells replaced knockers, the non-electrified notification system of banging a small hard object connected to the door by a hinge. Not all non-electric door-announcement systems are knockers, however. Some ring bells as the result of a spin, bringing to mind bicycle bells. The question is when these spun doorbells originated. Are they a mechanical means to accomplish a post-electric entry sound, or are they a pre-electric premonition of the now common doorbell?

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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