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Sunday, July 9, 2023

the sound of Cycle Bell !

A post on ‘sound of music’ – not exactly Music but sound to ears that we enjoyed a few decades ago ! which present generation will not know !! 

A post on sound for sure will have reference to Bell, - Alexander Graham Bell !  a Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who patented the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885. Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf; profoundly influencing Bell's life's work.  His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone, on March 7, 1876.  Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. Bell also had a strong influence on the National Geographic Society  and its magazine while serving as the second president from 1898, until 1903. Beyond his work in engineering, Bell had a deep interest in the emerging science of heredity.  His work in this area has been called "the soundest, and most useful study of human heredity proposed in nineteenth-century America... 

ஆட்டோகிராப் படத்தில் சேரன் ஒரு அற்புத பாடலை தந்தார்.  அதில் அவர் நினைவு கூறும் விஷயங்களில் ஒன்று,  தந்தையின் சைகிள் - பின்னர் அவருக்கு தந்தை வாங்கி தரும் சைக்கிள் - அதில் அவர் ஒட்டி திரிந்த நாட்கள் :   

ஞாபகம் வருதே !   ஞாபகம் வருதே   !!

பொக்கிஷமாக நெஞ்சில் புதைந்த  நினைவுகள் எல்லாம் ஞாபகம் வருதே 


Cycle  is not Cheran’s signature  - the ubiquitous one on which Rajnikant rode in film ‘Annamalai’ selling milk to richness would be ever remembered by film watchers.  The political parties of India such as Telegu Desam, Samajwadi party, Manipur Peoples Party, the J&K National Panthers party, Kerala Congress Party and the now defunct Tamil Maanila Congress all had attachment to it - yes the simple mechanism of moving on wheels with human power ‘the cycle’. 

One may not readily remember – ‘John Richard Dedicoat’ who invented pencil-sharpening machine, bicycle bell,  and some  other bicycle related items. Apprenticed to James Watt, he went on to become a bicycle manufacturer and made and sold the "Pegasus" bicycle.

Dedicoat designed a spring step to assist in mounting bicycles with high seats. Some people found it quite an effort to hoist themselves into the saddle from the step. Dedicoat's invention was based on the action of a groom, who, when a lady puts her foot in his hand in mounting a horse, gives her a lift into the saddle; so with this step it was pushed down against a spring until a catch held it. The step rocked on a hinge which turned as the leg was straightened and released the spring, the rider then getting a lift of 5 or 6 inches just at the moment he was reaching for the saddle. It was very pretty but had one defect: if the spring was too strong for the weight of the rider, it did its work too well, and shot him not into the saddle, but over the handles. 

Trink, tring !! – the all important nice sound that we heard a few decades ago – when a cyclist wading his way through made his presence felt clicking few times on the Cycle bell.  A bicycle bell is a percussive signaling instrument mounted on a bicycle for warning pedestrians and other cyclists. They are usually mounted on the handlebars and thumb activated – found them in a different place in a recent trip to Varanasi.

Dedicoat’s  patents for bicycle bells was back in  1877.  The most common bells are actuated by a thumb-operated lever that is geared to rapidly rotate two loosely slung metal discs inside the bell housing. The discs inside repeatedly rattle and strike the bell to produce a sound not unlike that of an electric bell. This type of bell  comes in left and right handed versions. 

Interesting !!  - சிறுவயதில் சைக்கிள் ஒட்டியதுண்டா !  உங்கள் காதில் அந்த சைக்கிள் மணி ஓசை ட்ரிங்க் ட்ரிங்க் என நிச்சயம் ரீங்காரமிடும் !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th July 2023.


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