Crotal bell

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a crotal bell

Crotal bells, also known as rumble bells, were used on horse-drawn vehicles before motorised vehicles were common.


They were orb-shaped bells made of bronze with a slot cut down the side and a round iron ball placed inside, which made the bell ring when it moved. These bells were used to warn other horse-drawn vehicle users (mostly on country roads) that another vehicle was approaching. They came in many sizes, from a small 1-inch version to bells that were many inches across. the older ones were forged while others were cast.


They were either hung on a small leather-and-iron harness bracket above the horse's collar on smaller vehicles. On larger vehicles, such as delivery wagons, they were driven into the wooden frame of the wagon.