The NBC Chimes Museum A Celebration Of Old-Time Radio's Most Famous Signature
The author of this webpage would like to express heartfelt thanks to those whose contributions made this
- Mark Aceto, owner of a Rangertone NBC Chimes Machine, for providing me with images and a direct line-output recording especially for this site.
- Mr. Marcus Bartlett and his daughter Mrs. Ann Cannon, who responded warmly to my questions about the WSB chimes, and who forwarded much valuable historical material to me. (Mr. Bartlett passed away on February
19, 2009, at the age of 98.)
- Dr. Michael Biel and Ms. Elizabeth McLeod, who opened their vaults and provided the historic audio clips of NBC Chimes present on the Media Files page. Both Dr. Biel and Ms. McLeod have spent years researching the NBC Chimes, and it is due to their efforts that we have even the barest outline of the progress of the various chimes sequences.
- Tom Brown, founder of First Generation Radio Archives, for his general encouragement.
- Tracy Carman of The Media Preservation Foundation for providing audio of NBC's Fourth Chime from the WTIC Transcription Archive, and for his permission to use the audio on this site.
- Alec Cumming of NBC Universal for his assistance and encouragement.
- Diana Doyle of the Nathan Hale High School Library, Tulsa OK, who provided pictures of the KVOO chimes on display there.
- Heather Grandt, who took the pictures of the various sets of Deagan chimes in my collection.
- Bill Harris, whose webpage was one of the first serious efforts on the web to catalog the development and evolution of the NBC Chimes, and who granted permission to use a picture of an NBC Chimes set in his collection.
- Mike Kavanagh, founder of the WSB History webpage, who provided historic information on the use of chimes on WSB, and who put me in contact with people who were there when chimes rang out on WSB. (Mr. Kavanagh passed away suddenly on December
6, 2008, at the age of 57.)
- Dr. Alexander Magoun, executive director of The David Sarnoff Library, who has provided encouragement and information concerning RCA and NBC.
- Fred Nutter of WCSH-TV, Portland Maine, who gave me information about the WCSH chimes.
- Fred Prohl of The Indiana Historical Radio Society, who sent me a copy of Rod Phillips' original
1976history of The NBC Chimes as published in that organization's Bulletin.
- Kim Scarborough, who gave permission to use audio from his post on Dinosaur Gardens.
- Gilberto Serna of Century Mallet Instrument Service, whose historic Deagan catalogs yielded contemporary models and prices, and whose devotion to excellence has given my vintage chimes a new lease on life.
- Dave Weiner for providing the film clip of NBC network announcer Kelvin Keech striking the NBC Deagan Chimes.
- Brian Wickham, who supplied me with background information on the Rangertone Chimes Machine whose restoration he oversaw, and who provided me with engineering drawings and a recording of the NBC Chimes Machine.
Links and Further Resources
- The granddaddy of all sites related to the history of the NBC Chimes is "Three Famous Notes of Broadcasting History - The NBC Chimes" on Bill Harris' Radio Remembered.
- The earliest version of Bill's site, including a newspaper article that started his research, can be found at The National Radio Club.
- Robert Morris' own story of his hand in the development of the Rangertone chimes is found at the Antique Wireless Association website. Click the link to go to their Special Downloads page, where you'll find it as a PDF download.
- A page on the NBC Chimes Machine with schematic from John Schneider
- NBC's West Coast Operations In San Francisco where the main switching center was located until
1942. Also from John Schneider.
- Also on John Schneider's site, Fred Krock talks about NBC San Francisco and describes the chimes machines installed there.
- Brian Wickham gives an auxiliary account of the NBC Chimes Machine that was found and restored.
- Dr. Rich Samuels has a splendid look back at NBC's Golden Age in his Broadcasting In Chicago
- Jeff Miller has a page with input on the NBC Chimes from Dr. Michael Biel and Elizabeth McLeod.
- Elizabeth McLeod's Broadcasting History Resources includes information about historic recordings of early radio, some with the NBC Chimes.
- The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame has an excellent history of WSB Atlanta including the WSB Chimes, a project conceived and begun by the late Mike Kavanagh.
- Arthur Harrison designed and built an NBC Chimes generator. The circuit and description can be seen, and an MP
3heard, at his Theremin Page.
- American Radio History has an extensive collection of radio publications from the
1930s to the present day. It was from their online library that I was able to find the issues of Broadcasting that filled in small details concerning the Fourth Chime, chimes as special emergency signals on other radio stations, and the auxiliary telegraphic switching cue system NBC used in conjunction with the Chimes.
- Don M. Yowp's Tralfaz Blog has quite an interesting collection of press clippings from the
1930s, with information tidbits about the NBC Chimes.
- Thomas Tryniski's Old Fulton New York Post Cards has an impressive collection of nearly twenty million scanned historic newspaper pages, mostly from upstate New York cities such as Schenectady, Utica, and Rome, but also from Brooklyn and Queens. I guarantee you will find a treasure trove of early radio history on this site. This is the source for the newspaper quotes that pinpoint the beginning of the NBC Chimes.
The purpose of The NBC Chimes Museum is to chronicle the evolution of the NBC Chimes on radio from the
This website is neither affiliated with nor authorized by Comcast/NBC Universal, which owns the trademark for the NBC Chimes on television, or by Dial Global, which owns the rights to the NBC name on radio.