Bosch Patented The First Signal Horn More Than 100 Years Ago

Bosch Patented The First Signal Horn More Than 100 Years Ago

Today’s Bosch horn program includes more than 80 part numbers, offering a full range of disc-type horns as well as fanfare horns and compressor trumpets, and even a backup warning signal.


LAS VEGAS, Nev. – From 1914 when Bosch filed its patent application for the first electric horn in Germany, until today – 100 years later – Bosch horn technology has been the state-of-the-art for the times. In other words, from the very beginning, Bosch horns have offered motorists features they were looking for, such as reliable performance, durable construction, attractive design and a pleasing sound. Bosch offers a wide range of horns and fanfares (a signaling device that can be used as a replacement for horns) in a variety of models and variants for cars, SUVs, pickups, motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

When Bosch submitted its patent application for the electric horn, the company wanted the product to have a “pure tone, instant response, extensive range, low power consumption, reliability and a pleasing shape.” The idea was to replace the traditional manually operated bulb horn and twittering engine whistles with a durable, well-constructed horn featuring a pleasing design and sound. As a result, the new Bosch horn that came to market in 1921 met all of the objectives stated in the original application. This horn was based on the principle of “stopped pipes” used in organ pipe building. The pipes are closed at the upper end, so they emit a lower sound than open pipes – a principle that resulted in a very pleasing and distinctive sound.

Horns versus fanfares
One hundred years later, the underlying principle on which the earliest development of Bosch horns was based, remains unchanged. In fact, it has had an impact on the various horns that Bosch has brought to market through the years. The sound of the horn is generated by an electrically activated membrane and is emitted in all directions.

Subsequently, the product range was extended to include fanfares, a commonly used signaling device on the road for cars, SUVs and pick-up trucks. While a horn emits sound in all directions, a fanfare emits sound only in the direction of travel. The funnel in a sounder is calibrated to a precise pitch and also uses a membrane to produce an exceptionally pleasant and soft sound, which, unlike the sound produced by horns, is emitted in only one direction.

Sending a powerful signal
Today’s Bosch Horn program includes more than 80 part numbers, offering a full range of disc-type horns as well as fanfare horns and compressor trumpets, and even a backup warning signal. Depending on the type of horn, voltage ranges from 6-volt to 24-volt, with frequencies from 300Hz to 840Hz. Many of today’s original equipment manufacturers – Domestic, Asian and European – trust Bosch experience, expertise and innovative technology, specifying Bosch Horns for their new vehicle production.

Bosch horns and fanfares are also available for classic cars. Bosch Automotive Tradition, the classic division of Bosch, gave the famous Bosch horn a new and historic redesign in 2006, including slotted screws and chrome-plated horn covers. The original was used in many vehicle brands and models from the 1950s and 1960s.

According to Mary O’Halloran, senior product manager, Robert Bosch LLC, Automotive Aftermarket NA, “Bosch horns are the perfect complement to the complete range of Bosch aftermarket replacement parts. They have a long history of helping to bring safety to the roadways of the world; and their quality construction, reliability and characteristic sound are trusted by OEMs, technicians and motorists alike.”

For more information on Bosch horns and fanfares, visit

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