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It is often mentioned that while a homes porch serves as focal gathering point for residents a traditional door knocker serves as the focal piece of the homes entryway. There has been a lot written about door knockers as these were devices that alerted the presence of an incoming visitor as well as for the eerie sound it makes during the middle of the night perfect for classic horror movie stuff. The earliest traditional door knockers were crafted from wrought iron and these consisted of a thick ring and a plate. This design was popular during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The first known knockers were made out of wrought iron. These simple ornaments consisted of a thick ring and a plate which were used in the 17th and 18th centuries throughout North America and Europe. Human faces (not ghastly like Jacob Marley) an animal faces were popular designs that are still used today. The craftsmanship on some of these knockers was elaborate enough to compare to the most-polished sculpture. Basically the purpose is to save the knuckles of visitors. Although they mainly serve as decoration they are still made of brass pewter iron or stainless steel to be durable enough to withstand outdoor elements. Plus they must be heavy enough to make a sound when they are tapped against a door. Cast iron styles have been favorites for a long time for their simplicity and sturdiness. They are also good for complimenting a Western theme. Pewter is another popular material.
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Some door knockers also come with a viewer lens for home safety or security. With all these new design options available it would seem that people would flock to metalworkers to design a variety of different door knockers for their homes but most modern houses prefer the classical ring knocker or crescent moon knocker found in hardware stores or online. Door knockers are more popular in England than in any other country and can be found everywhere even in the most remote locations. However the history of door knockers begins several thousand years ago in Ancient Greece.