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Switches to sound Klaxon on a Submarine

Klaxon is a trademark for an electromechanical horn or alerting device. Mainly used on automobiles, trains and ships, klaxons produce an easily-identifiable sound often transcribed onomatopoeiacally as "awooga" or "ah-WOOGA". Like most mechanical horns, the klaxon has largely been replaced by solid-state electronic alarms, though the memorable tone itself has persisted.

The klaxon's characteristic sound is produced by a spring-steel diaphragm with a rivet in the center that is repeatedly struck by the teeth of a rotating cogwheel. The diaphragm is attached to a horn that acts as an acoustic transformer and controls the direction of the sound.

In the first klaxons, the wheel was driven either by hand or an electric motor. The electric version has been credited to the inventor Miller Reese Hutchison, an associate of Thomas Edison.

The Lovell-McConnell Manufacturing Co. of Newark, New Jerseymarker bought the rights to the device in 1908. F. W. Lovell, the founder, coined the name klaxon from the Ancient Greek verb klazō, "to shriek".

Klaxons were first fitted to automobiles and bicycles in 1908. Electric klaxons were the first electrical devices to be fitted to private automobiles. They were originally powered by 6-volt dry cells, and from 1911 by rechargeable batteries. Later hand-powered versions were used as military evacuation alarms and factory sirens. The klaxon is also famous for its use as a submarine dive alarm. Oliver Lucas of Birmingham, England developed a standard electric car horn in 1910.

The English company Klaxon Signals Ltd. has been based in Oldhammarker, Greater Manchestermarker, Englandmarker for the last 80 years, with premises also in Birminghammarker. The French Klaxon company was acquired by the Italian Fiamm Group in the 1990s.

In 2005 Klaxon sold the rights for the hooter or klaxon range to Moflash Signalling Ltd., based in the original Klaxon Factory in Birmingham England. The Famous Klaxet ES and A1 hooters returned home to Birmingham after 10 years.

Generalized use of the word in foreign languages

Several foreign languages use a form of the word "klaxon" to designate a car's horn, regardless of the particular technology employed . In French the spelling remains the same ("klaxon") ; in Slovak an acute accent is added ("klaxón") . In Romanian and Spanish it is spelled "claxon" , which is also the popular word for it in Dutch (mostly used in Belgium) . In Polish the spelling is "klakson". In Perumarker, although the formal name for an automobile horn is "bocina," the use of "claxon" or "cláxon" is widespread.

The same applies to some languages that do not use the Latin alphabet. In Japanese, the term for a car's horn is written as . And Arabic uses the word transliterated as "klax" to refer to a car's horn (كلاكس in Arabic script) .

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