vintage doorbells pull cord

Vintage doorbells – Doorbells for the period home

In this blog post, Historic Doors looks at the different vintage doorbells available. After all, every front door needs one!

That rings a bell

The vast majority of customers who come to us for a reclaimed front door, are also interested in the door furniture and architectural hardware that comes with it. Recently we looked at the different types of door handles available, and today we’re having a look at doorbells.

Manual or electric doorbells?

This is the first question that you need to ask before you buy a new doorbell. Georgian and Victorian Front doors used manual doorbells, which operate via a system of pulleys.

However, by the 1930s electricity had developed enough that homes were installed with an electric doorbell. The choice is up to you, and we have a variety of both types. Have a look at our 1930’s doors here.

Early Victorian style pull cord bell

vintage doorbells pull cord


This early Victorian style pull cord doorbell is a manual affair. It uses a series of pulleys to rattle the bell, and is incredibly charming. This type of doorbell must be used with a door chime handle or bell pull, rather than a button. We find pulling a handle much more fun than using a button!

Claverley manual cord bell pull

claverley manual pull cord bell

This Claverley bell pull is fantastic. Although on first sight it looks like a button, it is in fact a bell pull. This can be a surprise for new visitors though, and can make for great entertainment as they push rather than pull.  It’s made of brass, and comes with a teak backboard, to make it easier to install. We’re sure you’ll agree the detailing is lovely, and is a welcome addition to any home.

Winchester cord bell pull

winchester cord bell pull

The Winchester cord bell pull is for those who want to really impress. Any guest coming to the door will take great satisfaction in pulling this bell. And everyone will tell you so as well. This is the weapon of choice for those people who want a serious doorbell.

Gothic Lichfield bell pull

vintage doorbells

The Lichfield Gothic bell pull carries with it a certain gravitas. It is a serious piece of design, and works perfectly with a Gothic Victorian style home. The Gothic design movement was very popular during the Victorian era, and this bell pull encapsulates it well. Coming with a twisted shaft and a chunky handle, this bell pull is available in brass, nickel, or blackened brass, for that extra Gothic look. Check out this post on gothic architecture.

If you are interested in a doorbell, door or any other reclaimed furniture, please get in touch with us via email.