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Wind Chime History, Facts & Trivia

Wind chimes have been delighting children and annoying neighbors for thousands of years, with the earliest known examples dating back to the Bronze Age – long before Homeowner’s Associations were created to ruin everyone’s fun.</br></br>The neat thing is that they haven’t changed all that much. The first wind chimes were made of bones and shells, and it’s not uncommon to see the same types of chimes today.</br></br>Now, though, we have even more <a title="Wind Chimes" href="http://www.atgstores.com/outdoor/curb-appeal/wind-weather/wind-chimes/" target="_blank">wind chime designs</a>, and all different kinds of history and fun facts to go along with them.</br></br><strong>Charming Chimes</strong></br></br>Archeologists and historians believe early wind chimes were used to ward away evil spirits, which makes total sense when you hear some of the more awful-sounding ones. And, apparently people saw some success in banishing banshees, because wind chime popularity continued to grow.</br></br>Eventually, wind chimes came to be seen more broadly as good luck charms. Ghosts or no ghosts, chimes were a simple sign of good fortune that had the added bonus of looking nice and sounding pretty (most of the time).</br></br><strong>Spurred Birds</strong></br></br>More advanced uses eventually came to pass, one of which was to keep birds away from crops – a <a title="New York Times" href="http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/30/nyregion/strategies-to-outsmart-pesky-birds.html" target="_blank">method that still works for people today</a>.</br></br>Of course, it depends on the bird and it depends on the chime, but if you’re trying to attract birds to your house so you can watch them you may want to rethink the wind chime/bird feeder combo.</br></br><strong>Big Chime</strong></br></br>America is a place where BIGGER is almost always better and wind chimes are no exception. So, naturally we have the biggest wind chime in the world.</br></br>It’s in a town called Casey, Illinois, and <a title="City of Casey, Illinois" href="http://cityofcaseyil.org/BEI_Largest_Wind_Chime/87/a" target="_blank">it measures 55 feet tall</a>. It was completed by Jim Bolin in 2012, and its longest chime measures 42 feet.</br></br><strong>Music Snob</strong></br></br>Audio engineers and others who study music describe chimes as “inharmonic” – but that’s actually a good quality when it comes to chimes.</br></br>Something that is inharmonic produces a range of partial tones that depart from what’s called the fundamental frequency, or main sound of a musical device. That’s how chimes can sound eerily beautiful or just plain weird, depending on the taste of the listener and the chime design.</br></br><strong>DIY Chimes </strong></br></br>It's easy to make your own chimes. All you need is a clapper – the doodad in the middle that the chimes hit – and the chimes. Popular DIY chimes are made of wood, shells, hard plastic tubing or anything else that's hollow and cylindrical.</br></br>Take your time making your chime and it's sure to sound just fine.
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