Everyone has a doorbell, right? Nope. My husband and I live in a 19th Century farmhouse on the coast of Maine. It was built by an daring sea captain captain who sailed the world several times. Obviously, it was built long before electric doorbells. The good old captain hung a brass ship bell by the door so that people could let him know they were there.
We bought the house several years ago and are rebuilding it board by board. About the only thing we haven't had to think about replacing or fixing is that ship's bell. I'm sure it's as loud as the day it was first hung by the door.
We don't know for certain if our sea captain hung a ships bell that he took from one of his vessels. He was a frugal Yankee, so there's a good chance that he did - or at least took one from another ship. I have seen many boat owners, take the bell from their boat before they sell it. It's a sentimental item that performs a function and reminds them of happy memories on the open seas.