filename=WWII submarine dive klaxon.ogg
description=A sample of a submarine dive Klaxon used by United States Navy submarines during World War II

Klaxon is a trademark for an electromechanical horn or alerting device. Mainly used on automobiles, trains and ships, they alert listeners of the vehicle's arrival and possible danger.

The Klaxon's characteristic sound is produced by a spring-steel diaphragm with a rivet in the center that is repeatedly struck by the teeth of a rotating cog wheel. The diaphragm is attached to a horn that acts as an acoustic transformer as well as controlling the direction of the sound.

In the first klaxons, the wheel was driven either by hand or by an electric motor. The electric version has been credited to inventor Miller Reese Hutchison, an associate of Thomas Edison.

The Lovell-McConnell Manufacturing Co. of Newark, New Jersey bought the rights to the device in 1908. F. W. Lovell, the founder, coined the name "klaxon" from the Ancient Greek verb "klazō", "to shriek".

Klaxons were first fitted to automobiles and bicycles in 1908. Electric klaxons were the first electrical devices to be fitted to private automobiles. They were originally powered by 6-volt dry cells, and from 1911 by rechargeable batteries. Later hand-powered versions were used as military evacuation alarms and factory sirens. The klaxon is also famous for its use as a submarine dive alarm. Oliver Lucas of Birmingham, England developed a standard electric car horn in 1910.The English company Klaxon Signals Ltd. has been based in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England for the last 80 years, with premises also in Birmingham. The French Klaxon company was acquired by the Italian Fiamm Group in the 1990s.

In 2005 Klaxon sold the rights for the hooter or klaxon range to Moflash Signalling Ltd., based in the original Klaxon Factory in Birmingham England. The Famous Klaxet ES and A1 hooters returned home to Birmingham after 10 years.

Generalization of the Word in Foreign Languages

Several foreign languages use a form of the word as the general term for a car's horn, regardless of whether it is still the same mechanism (very rarely so) or not. In French, the spelling remains the same, as "klaxon", but in Romanian, it's altered to "claxon", which is also the popular word for it in Dutch (mostly used in Belgium). In Peru, the formal name for the horns of an automobile is naturalized as "clácson".

The same applies to some languages that do not use the Latin alphabet. In Japanese, the term for a car's horn is written as nihongo|"kurakushon"|クラクション. And Arabic uses the word transliterated as "klax" to refer to a car's horn (كلاكس in Arabic script).

Popular culture

*"The Klaxon: March of the Automobiles" was composed by Henry Fillmore in 1929 for the Cincinnati Automobile Show, and was originally performed on twelve automobile horns.
*In the Harry Potter series of books, the alarm that sounds when a boy tries to ascend the stairs to the girls' dormitory is described as 'klaxonlike.'
*In Grant Morrison's comic book series "Doom Patrol" there are numerous references to a device called, 'The Action-Klaxon'.
*Ninja Warrior on G4 uses a klaxon to alert the players that 10 seconds remain on the clock.
*On , the klaxon is used as the starting judge instead of an announcer.
*The British New Rave band "Klaxons" takes its name from the word "klaxon."
*In numerous Star Trek episodes and series, the closed captioning describes the ship alarm as a klaxon.

External links

* [http://www.policeinterceptor.com/navysounds.htm Authentic Navy Alarm Sounds]
* [http://www.rustychevy.com/klaxon_horn_adj.htm Pages from a klaxon horn adjustment manual] with diagrams

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • klaxon — [ klaksɔn ] n. m. • 1911; n. déposé , d une firme amér.; du gr. klaxein « retentir » ♦ Avertisseur sonore à commande mécanique ou électrique. Donner un coup de klaxon. Des klaxons. Recomm. offic. avertisseur. ● Klaxon nom masculin (nom déposé)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Klaxon™ — [ˈklæksn] [ˈklæksn] noun (BrE) a horn, originally on a vehicle, that makes a loud sound as a warning   Word Origin: [Klaxon] …   Useful english dictionary

  • klaxon — n. a kind of loud horn formerly used on motor vehicles. Syn: claxon. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • klaxon — (n.) loud warning horn, 1908, originally on automobiles, said to have been named for the company that sold them (The Klaxon Company; distributor for Lovell McConnell Mfg. Co., Newark, N.J.), but probably the company was named for the horn, which… …   Etymology dictionary

  • klaxon — ☆ klaxon [klaks′ən ] n. [< Klaxon, former trademark, arbitrary coinage based on Gr klaxein, to shout, scream < IE base * kel > CLAMOR] [also K ] a kind of electric horn with a loud, shrill sound …   English World dictionary

  • klaxon — ► NOUN trademark ▪ a vehicle horn or warning hooter. ORIGIN the name of the manufacturers …   English terms dictionary

  • Klaxon — Avertisseur sonore « Klaxon » redirige ici. Pour la marque originale, voir Klaxon (marque). Un avertisseur sonore est un appareil émettant un son principalement destiné à donner un signal ou à prévenir d’un danger. Les avertisseurs… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • klaxon — UK [ˈklæksən] / US noun [countable] Word forms klaxon : singular klaxon plural klaxons a very loud electric horn or siren …   English dictionary

  • Klaxon — Klax|on [ˈklæksən] n trademark [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: Klaxon, a trademark] a loud horn that was fixed onto police cars and other official vehicles in the past …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Klaxon polyphonique — Un klaxon polyphonique est un klaxon ayant la particularité d émettre plusieurs tonalités, créant ainsi une mélodie. Leur usage est interdit sur la voie publique, car réservé les véhicules d intérêt général. En revanche, ce genre de klaxon est… …   Wikipédia en Français

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