Did any of the schools you went to use actual mechanical bells for the bell?

I’m glad that none of the schools I went to used such. They all used a tone over the intercom for the bell. Those mechanical bells are loud.

I think my school used to use them, but now it’s a tone over the PA system.

1 Like

The school my dad works at had 4" bells (as evidenced by one of them still in the hallway) that I imagine they used as class change bells. The bell itself is gray, so I don’t think it was used as a fire alarm.

This is why I think there used to be a mechanical bell system for class change.

My first elementary school used a bell system originally, but the school was struck by lightning one night and it broke it. The next day, when we had our fire drill, the bell wouldn’t stop ringing from when they signaled us to go inside, so the school bell was continuously ringing and the fire alarms were going off. It was then replaced with a minuscule Dukane system that was built into a wall phone for use in the loudspeakers. We then had a electronic bell for those 3 years I was there.

4th and 5th grade had a mechanical bell for class changes. Quite loud.

Middle School had a Dukane Compact System with Dukane’s electronic sounding bell.

High School has a Simplex Time Keeper/Dukane System that has a steady beep for the bell, however there is a bell in the lunchroom and in one hallway that are hooked up to it that ring (Surprisedly on a short 0.5 delay after the electronic bell)

I think it was traditionally typical for schools to use mechanical bells for the bell, but nowadays they mostly use a tone over the intercom. Older schools either still use the mechanical bells or used to use them before they were replaced with a tone over the PA.

1 Like

Virtually every single school I’ve attended has used mechanical bells (Perrinville, Tyler, Buchanan, Marshall, and Cass for lower el.; Riley for upper el.; Holmes Middle, Stevenson High). All of these buildings were more than 45 years old. Many schools in the Livonia Public Schools district still use mechanical bells, but this will not last for much longer.

In 2013, a bond issue was passed that is resulting in all K-12 school buildings becoming remodeled and renovated. In the process, all of the mechanical bell systems are being replaced with upgraded public address systems. The fire alarm systems are being upgraded as well.

My school doesn’t use their mechanical bell system anymore, yet they still have quite a few bells left. The auditorium literally hasn’t been renovated since it was built in 1963, and they have Simplex bells (very early model), on flush plates. They have this setup in the gym, yet one of the bells was painted over. The band room has a simplex 4" bell in the band locker room. The exterior has some early Simplex 12" bells under weatherproof covers.

My elementary school has mechanical bells, and still uses them. It is some sort of Edwards bell system, most of the interior bells are either Edwards 4" or 10" bells. The outside used to have a 6" Edwards bell, but was replaced with a 4" bell, and there was another 4" bell that was replaced with a 10" bell. They also have an Edwards Adaptahorn outside.

My high school used a Telecor 2 system for intercom and bells, but in 2013 they replaced it with a Telecor XL. I’ve gotten to know both those systems quite well, as I was the one who usually programmed the bell schedules/tones for the admin. staff (none of them knew how to do it). There is still remnants of an old bell system around the school, which I believe the school had an IBM time/bell system at one point (with the buzzers/clocks combos in classrooms). It was pre 1988, since the PA system was installed that year, when they converted it into a full day high school.

I’m hoping I can salvage some of those old bells too before it gets demolished.

None of the schools I ever went to ever used Mechanical Bells. All tones over the intercom system.

However, Edgewater Public (the school where I went for much of my Pre-K years, as well as Kindergarten and 1st Grade), Spruce Creek Elementary (the school where I went for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade), and Spruce Creek High all have remains of older mechanical bell systems! From what I know, the two aforementioned elementary schools had the motor of the bells exposed in some of the classrooms. And my high school even had older bells outside that were painted over (including a few sprinkler bells)!

None of my schools growing up had class change bells at all. Elementary and middle school had tones play over the intercom at the start and end of the day, nothing at all in high school.

All of the buildings at my college do have either bells or chimes that go off at :50 and then at the top of the hour since that’s when the bulk of classes start and end. I did have one class last semester that ran from 9:30-10:45, so the bell in the auditorium would go off twice in the middle of class :lol:

UPDATE: Today they are replacing it with a new system. Will give another update when I know more.

I was once inside of a middle school I didn’t go to that had a mechanic bell system. I was in the hallway and the bells rang. It really scared me when those bells rang. They were loud. I’m glad none of the schools I went to used mechanical bells.

I attended a Catholic high school, which had a sister elementary school next door, from grades 9-11. The high school building used tones over the PA system, but the elementary school building (which housed the gym, cafeteria, and band room used by both schools) had old 6" Standard vibrating bells. They were actually removed from the gym (which had PA speakers connected to the high school system), but they were very loud in the cafeteria. They really scared me the first time I heard them (as I didn’t realize they were still being used), and continued to frequently make me jump afterwards. At least they were only used at the beginning of the day, the beginning/end of lunch, and dismissal. These buildings have now been sold to the local public school system, who are remodeling and installing new systems in them, so I would guess the bells will ring no more.

The high school I attended senior year used tones over the PA system, but also had functioning 6" Standard bells in the gym, cafeteria, auditorium, and locker rooms; plus 8" bells outdoors. The indoor ones didn’t seem as loud as the ones at the aforementioned school, perhaps because they were behind metal grilles (which also housed the disconnected original Standard fire horns in those rooms). Some of the outdoor ones were pretty loud, but others didn’t work too well. Again, the bells no longer ring at this school, as a new PA system with outdoor speakers was installed a few years after I graduated (and a few years before it became a middle school).

There were some remnants of a mechanical bell system in my original wing of my K-8 school (I remember the bells being General Electric), but they were disconnected by the time I got there - presumably when the school was first expanded in 1986.

The elementary school I went to was built in 1995. The original bell/PA system was used until late 2019. The original system had an electronic tone through the speakers on the inside but there was a mechanical bell on the outside of the building near the playground that was used as a recess bell. In 2019 the system was replaced with a fully electronic IP system.

I will try to get a picture of the bell when I can as it is still up even though it was disconnected in 2019 and I don’t know what type of bell it is.

My school still has mechanical bells that are up on the walls but broken, now they use a tone, but I went to elementary when they still used ONE mechanical bell outside and it’s still there but doesn’t work, it used to work when I was in preschool through 3rd grade when it short circuited and they didn’t fix it so it’s just there, I threw a rock at it and made it ring one last time tho

I went to that school that is legit what mine was like

What state are you in? (If you are in the US)

Colorful Colorado
Aka where you get ur sweet corn from

1 Like

I guess it’s not the same school then since I’m in North Dakota.