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Rittenhouse King Edward Model 420

Rittenhouse King Edward Model 420

Rittenhouse King Edward 1949

This deluxe Rittenhouse chime is a 1943 Norman Bel Geddes design. Production began post-war. It’s described in a 1949 Rittenhouse Catalog:

Superb Westminster chime for discriminating home owners. Graceful brushed brass tubes are suspended below a lovey, soft-blue plate-glass mirror. Exactly the same chime mechanism that is used on the Queen Anne Model. This provides a choice of three, different, 4 and 8 note melodies for the front door signal, and also a 2 note and a single-note signal for rear door and other purposes. One of the front door melodies available is is a 4-note novelty tune that provides something different for use on party nights. Rittenhouse Volume Control permits adjusting the tone to any desired level. Comes complete with special 24-volt transformer.

The 420 mechanism is sophisticated. The bells are hung so the first and third bell may be rung for a two note signal for a rear or second door by means of a horizontally sprung solenoid. Three multi-note melodies may be selected with a lever control and the volume adjusted with a potentiometer. The primary melody is an eight note Westminster peal and the second melody are the first four notes. The “Party” melody is from the Irving Berlin song: “The Near Future” colloquially known as “How Dry I am,” also featured in the TeleChime Aristocrat.

The melodies are accomplished by arranging contacts around separate tracks energized by a commutator. Only one set of contacts is powered depending on the position of the melody selector lever.

      King Edward Party Melody

A silver plate-glass mirror version superseded the original blue version as no mention is made of the “soft-blue plate-glass mirror” in catalog entries after 1949. Rittenhouse may have wanted a more neutral color and/or changed vendors as the silver museum specimen is marked on the back, Semon Bache, New York City EVALAST and dated 11/25/1950. The Blue version does not have Semon Bache marks. Semon Bache was a leading manufacturer of fine glass products often used in Mid Century Furnishings. Rittenhouse apparently contracted with the firm for the distinctive mirror component of the King Edward.


Manufacturer A.E. Rittenhouse
Location of Manufacture Honeoye Falls, NY
Date of Manufacture 1949
Cover Styrene Plastic with Glass Mirrored Shield
Bells Brass
Height 54 inches
Width 11 3/4 inches
Depth 4 inches
Notes Both covers, Bells and Mechanism in Original Condition. Design by Norman Bel Geddes
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