Friedland York Model Tubular Doorbell Model C963 Circa 1975
This petite Long Bell Door Chime features unusual square bells. This chime was imported from England by General Electric for the US market in a partnership with V. & E. Friedland. Longbell chimes for the UK market were often shorter in stature than their North American counterparts. This one measures 32 inches from the top of the cover to the bottom of the longest bell. The York was also exported to Continental Europe and Australia.
Another modification for the home market was the facility to use either a transformer or internal batteries as a source of power for installation in homes lacking a transformer. The shorter bells helped in this regard as less energy is required to vibrate the smaller mass of each bell. The need for batteries created another design challenge as the case had to cover the batteries as well as the mechanism.
I surmise a battery facility was necessary because much of Europe’s housing stock was built before the advent of electricity. Although British and European homes of all vintages have been nearly universally wired, low voltage doorbell wiring was not practical in many homes built before the 20th century. An episode of the BBC series Upstairs/Downstairs revolved around wiring an upper class town home on Eaton place for the first time in the early 1900s.
The York was described in a 1977 catalog:
863 YORK Two-tone housing. The distinctive square tubes in brass colour anodized finish give a rich full tone. Two-note signal for operation from one push button only. Forum 1 1/2 volt “Baby” batteries can be fitted inside the chime… Can be used with a Friedland 752 tranformer if mains operation desired.