Tubular bells may have been used in France as early as the 1850s or 1860s, but in the English speaking world, they got their start when John Harrinton of Coventry England, patented a clock chime of tubular bells in 1884. Tubular bells (also known as chimes) are musical instruments in the percussion family. Each bell is a metal tube, tuned by altering its length. Tubular bells are typically struck on the top edge of the tube with a rawhide- or plastic-headed hammer. Often, a sustain pedal will be attached to allow extended ringing of the bells.