Maas Vintage Tubular Doorbell Circa 1935
This chime was manufactured by Maas in Southern California. The Maas-Rowe company of San Diego, California continues to this day manufacturing Carillons for bell towers and Cathedral Chimes, primarily aimed at the Church market. When I spoke with Maas-Rowe, they had only a vague recollection of having manufactured door chimes “many years ago” and the only people that might have had residual knowledge had passed away some years ago
I first encountered these bells and mechanism without a cover. Later, I obtained a cover with an illustration of the mechanism on the barely intact instructions pasted inside along with the manufacturer name.
The mechanism is cast of a non magnetic pot metal. Even the grooves for suspending the chimes are part of the casting. Instructions are cast in the mechanism similar to those made by American Art Metal. The Maas mechanism uniquely employs a SIL (Single In Line) resistor to provide a single note for a second door call. The resistor reduces the current to the coil to provide a reduced volume for a back door.
The instructions direct the installer to put the volume “regulator” on one of the three resistor terminals “providing the loudest and clearest single note”. Other contemporary chime manufacturers provided a shop built variable resistor (potentiometer) to provide a one note melody for a second door. Later chime manufacturers adopted two solenoids, with the second solenoid plunger restrained from hitting the longer bell, to provide two distinct calls.
Notably, the patent date on the Maas SIL resistor is from January of 1931, so this chime may be among the earliest long bell door chimes.
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