This Swansea Ad From 1917 Proves Klaxons Were the First Form of Road Rage
Have you seen car commercials lately? Thanks to advanced technology, car companies are now selling vehicles similar to spaceships with all the bells and whistles. Nowadays, we have navigations systems and even self-parking capabilities, but there was a time when transportation didn’t even come with horns, and advertisements for the Klaxon were taking up ad space.
If you are like me, you may be scratching your head wondering what a Klaxon is, but after coming across an advertisement on Facebook from 1917, I knew the Klaxon by a different name – or rather, the sound it makes.
The nostalgic sound effect in early cartoons comes from the 1908 invention by Miller Reese Hutchison. The Lovell-McConnell Manufacturing Company bought the rights and eventually coined the name Klaxon, from an Ancient Greek verb that translates to “I shriek.”
From the sound of this 1914 Swansea newspaper, the Klaxon was needed for the twists and turns of our rural backroads.
“This is one of the many dangerous curves where the automobile needs a Klaxon,” reads the article underneath a blurry, black and white photo of an S-curve near Swansea.
In 1914, newspapers were advertising horn sales. In 2022, Teslas offer the capability of changing your horn sound to a popular pop song. My, how times have changed.
Facebook users have entered a hot debate of which S-curve is pictured in the century-old ad, with many people labeling it as Milford Road or Route 6.
I don’t know about you, but I think we need to bring the Klaxon back.
Imagine getting honked at by a Klaxon on Route 6? That would certainly turn some heads.