Sleigh Bells — a safety device?

Dec 20, 2010

My husband, who shares my love of technology and history, pointed out a recent Los Angeles Times article on the sleigh bell industry.  The article focused on the Bevin Bros., a Connecticut-based company that has been making sleigh bells since 1832.

I was most intrigued by the paragraph on how the industry grew in the 19th century.  Sleigh runners were nearly silent and glided quietly along the snow.  Many states passed laws requiring harness bells to announce the approach of sleighs to pedestrians and others.

Maybe we need them on Priuses?

Then, the bells became associated with Christmas due to James Lord Pierpoint’s “The One Horse Open Sleigh” in 1857 (link to Library of Congress copy), which became “Jingle Bells” two years later.

Who knew?

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