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The 5 W's of Car Horn History

Posted by Unknown on Mar 23rd 2017

Every wonder who, what, when, where, & why the car horn was invented?  Well we wrote this blog post for you!

Oliver Lucas

An electric car horn


Birmingham, England

The electric car horn was invented for safety; to warn others of vehicles approaching, their presence, or to gain attention to a potential hazard. Most vehicles, as well as bicycles, trains, and ships, are required by law to have horns.

The horn system includes a steel diaphragm, a contractor, and electromagnet. In simple terms, when you press down on the horn from your vehicle, it triggers the electromagnet, which causes the diaphragm to move. Once the diaphragm reaches its maximum point, the contractor momentarily cuts off the current (putting the diaphragm back in its original position). This process is repeated and the back and forth movement is what causes the sound to come out.

Other Types of Horns

Bicycle Horn
        Bulb horn that works by squeezing the rubber bulb.

Train Horns
       Air horns that are operated by the compressed air from the train's air brake system.

Ship Horns
      Air horns that are operated by compressed air or from steam that comes from the power plant.


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