Cow Horn?

There was a recent link on the car talk fb page about car features you don’t see anymore.
I was hoping to find a “cow horn” as one of them. My parent’s car both had what they described to me as “cow horns” in their late 70’s/early 80’s Pontiacs. After googling iterations of the phrase I found what I believe was a cow horn.

Does anyone know what the actual purpose for these are? Are they pure novelty? Do they serve a functional purpose? Does anyone know if these were every part of any manufacturers, standard available options or were they just sold as aftermarket accessories?

Disclosure: I did grow up in Wisconsin, but not on a farm.

I think these were after market accessories. I saw them in the Sears, Montgomery Ward and J.C. Whitney catalogues. There was a control that mounted on the steering column and had a lever. The further down you pulled the lever, the louder the horn sounded. I have never seen one installed in a vehicle, but a local service club had one rigged to a car battery and had the battery on a cart. The horn really bellowed like a bull. The service club was downtown on the sidewalk with this horn during the Christmas season raising money for the salvation army. It attracted a lot more attention than the little hand bells the Salvation army workers ring.

Reminds me of an ISIS call to arms. Seriously that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen if someone gets hurt.

A few people in my area have installed “air horns” in their vehicles (mostly small “slammed” pickup trucks). When one of those things goes off…people nearby nearly jump out of their skins…me included. They should be illegal but so far…nothing has happened.

There was a time when J.C. Whitney sold all types of oddball horns which played music, mimiced animals, trucks, and even the infamous dual ocean liner horn.

I would suspect those types of horns could present legal issues in today’s world and would likely not be legal in states which have an inspection program.

The Fed requirement (unless it’s changed) is that 2 horns must be present; each with a different pitch to make sure someone hears them.

Some of those people in the video are a little gutsier than me with the speed. I’d be crawling past those cattle because you never know what they’re gonna do.

I didn’t know the federal regulations required dual note horns. One of my peecious, minivans, either the 2000 Ford Windstar or the 2006 Chevrolet Uplander, I don’t remember which, had a single tone horn.
One option on the 1939 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe was a city horn and a country horn. There was a switch on the dashboard to set the horn for city or country. This was a factory option. I only saw one 1939 Chevrolet with this option and I never saw it on a later model.

“The Fed requirement (unless it’s changed) is that 2 horns must be present; each with a different pitch to make sure someone hears them.”

Oh, say it ain’t so. When I ordered my 86 Buick, one of the options was a dual tuned horn instead of the standard horn. Call me a chump but what the heck, we opted for the dual horns. Maybe $30 or so. I dunno, times were good then. It did have a little better sound than the standard ole horns but unfortunately only heard them about once a year except in the garage when I tested them. I guess I just liked checking off options.

All my Hondas, current and back to '98, just one horn.