Cricket, Electric & Tap


All photos and descriptions are courtesy of the Cowans.

Cricket Bells are an old, very rare instrument made many years ago by J.C. Deagan of Chicago.  Each note is a steel glockenspiel bar with a ratchet mechanism and a crank.  When the handle is turned, the cog gear strikes the tone bar repeatedly, which makes a rapid xylophone-like sound.  We have a 30 bell set.

Electric Door Bells:  This is a one octave chromatic set Whitechapel cup bells connected to electric door bell switches and played on a keyboard fashioned of door bell buttons.  This instrument was made by our oldest son some 30 years ago as an industrial arts project in Jr. High School.

Tap Bells:  This is a 2½  chromatic octave set of Whitechapel bells that have been adapted with 3 little legs and a “tapping” button through the top of the bell.  A resonator is attached to each to project the sound and the bells are attached to a board.  The bells are played by Frances and myself by moving quickly from bell to bell to “tap” the note.  Frances also plays solos on the bells with her hands and feet (like an organist) with one board of bells being placed on the floor for the feet to play.