Danger Sound Klaxon! reveals the untold story of the Klaxon automobile horn, one of the first great electrical consumer technologies of the twentieth century. Although its metallic shriek at first shocked pedestrians, savvy advertising strategies convinced consumers across the United States and western Europe to adopt the shrill Klaxon horn as the safest signaling technology available in the 1910s. The widespread use of Klaxons in the trenches of World War I, however, transformed how veterans heard this car horn, and its traumatic association with gas attacks ultimately doomed this once ubiquitous consumer technology.

By charting the meteoric rise and eventual fall of the Klaxon, Matthew Jordan highlights how perceptions of sound-producing technologies are guided by, manipulated, and transformed through advertising strategies, public debate, consumer reactions, and governmental regulations. Jordan demonstrates in this fascinating history how consumers are led toward technological solutions for problems themselves created by technology.

Find a BookFor Our AuthorsRights and PermissionsRotunda Digital ImprintSupport UVA PressCareer OpportunitiesWalker Cowen Memorial PrizePrivacy Policy
  • P.O. Box 400318 (Postal)
  • Charlottesville, VA 22904-4318
  • 210 Sprigg Lane (Courier)
  • Charlottesville, VA 22903-2417
  • 434 924-3468 (main)
  • 1-800-831-3406 (toll-free)
  • 434 982-2655 (fax)
support uva press
Be a part of
the future
of publishing
Support UVA Press
uva logo
aup member
© 2023 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA PRESS