The History of the General Post Office in Great Britain is well documented, I shall concentrate on British Whistles used with the GPO and bring NEWS and New information and findings as to whistle’s dates and makers, previously not published, (It is underconstruction, and an on going research ! )
I shall start with late Victorian times first, then mid Victorian. and continue to Post Victorian and up to WWII and later up to the 1980s when they stopped the use of whistles. VICTORIAN PERIOD G.P.O WHISTLES.
As of writing only 2 Known Hudson & Co. GPO whistles are known , and as a rulle of thumb G.P.O Numbered whistles are rare; 1 Digit one known 2 Digits 1 known pre 1895 and one 2 Digits from 1902 Order 3 digits (a later 1914 series) very few known. All these are very rare, and I am sure more may surface in the future, Hopefully of other London Districts. Others are 4 didits numbered in the series of 1000, 2000, 4000. Ordered in 1915 suppleid 191are all scarce.
Next we see 1888-1901 whistles,
The Metropolitan stamp Patent and J. Hudson & Co. stamps are curved – arched. The address has a DOT after 13 so 13. Barr St.
Metal Detecting bronze whistle found in a field in the vicinity of a village called Chisworth on the Derbyshire Cheshire border. Found in the same field are other finds; two musket balls, (Larger one is metal smaller seems to be made of stone), a very old possibly mediaeval lead plumb Bob, the small circular item is an old pocket fob watch winder, a .303 bullet tip, and two King George V half pennies
– The whistle is made of two parts, Body and Fipple, the fipple is cast metal made with amazing prescision and inserted into body, The body was turned on a lathe, 3 ornamental rings on body (later known as crimp rings used on cartriges probabably 1850s 1860s onward) The whistle has a SEED PEA, Hollow seed which lost a small part. The whistle is extreemly loud ear piercing sound level of about 120 Db. It is not a Hawking whistle. Date is estimated to be late 18th century to early 1800s. The small depression, (nook, cranny, niche,socket) in the top shows was it was held by a pin to the lathe ,
Antique Judaica (Yodaica) Silver Whistle for ‘Purim‘
A Russian Silver Pocket escargot – snail shaped whistle. It has Russian made 1880s to early 1900 , silver hallmarks of 84 silver. It has etchings and stamps on four sides. I was made by a Jewish Silversmith and it is a religious article. The Purim fest is corresponding to the Haloween in christian culture. Traditionaly costumes and noisemakers as Rattles and whistles are used on this holiday.
On the front of the beak facing window it reads: Purim in Hebrew letters – פורים
Two Fish represent the ancient sign of Pisces in the Zodiac Month of Adar – אדר etched on the other side.
This Historically important Jewish Police Pocket Whistle* found lately, lead to much research which sheds light on a dark period in Poland during world world II and Nazi regime in Warsaw. I will quote and bring links for those interested in further study.
In the next photo front view of the Beak engraved in Hebrew Letters; פועל – Pron. – POEL means worker, The was a Jewish organization named Hapoel and I still had not deciphered the its connection to its history. A matter for further research. It may suggest the owner was a Member of the Hapoel organization, and members of ‘Hapoel’ were recruited to the Jewish Police. ) Hapoel was a Sport Organization Est. 1920 and its Warsaw Club est. 1933.
Foot note The whistle is missing its Metal fipple block (A slight chance it was a wooden one) It is clearly a Sheffield style Fipple. (My observation is that there are three types) You may search my Dixon & Sons whistles to see further notes as well as examples of the ‘Sheffield Fipple’ (a term I came up with to distinguish these type of Fipples). It said 18th Century Sportsman whistle but it could have been very early Military one Or a Seaman whistle Trafalgar period, or for early Napoleon’s wars. You can also see my observation as to this type of early Pre Drilled tops and Knots which I found and pointed as a distinctive feature as Georgian and earlier types of Round Pea Whistles. As to Maker it would be one of Sheffield’s Iron Mongers in the 18th Century, and at the latest one of James Dixon’s earliest works. Previously in the same British Collection as the Walrus Ivory one.
The Subject of British Railway whistles is a fascinating one, I shall bring few whistles from Private Collections, and hopefully would expand with time and article. The following four examples of the four different types are all from late Victorian period.
Two Notes Tube Whistle (TNTW) shape, Grimsby Dock Police whistle, Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (M.S&L.R) which changed its name to the Great Central Railway in 1897.
There are 4 Main Basic mouth blown whistle types – Shapes used with British Railway companies, These are: Escargots – referee type / (Most Common type) Two notes Tube whistles (TNTW) as in first photo. (also known as General Service whistles) Round Pea Whistle type, at time without pea. Conical two notes (TNCW) ( also kknown as Beaufort)
The most fascinating and outstanding book about whistles to have come in decades, I will write more and more, edit this and bring more photos as well as edit the post, a jaw dropping large heavy book with over 300 pages in a generous format of app. 20 + by 30 cm. A must for any whistle enthusiast. researcher, Collector and scholar. Le sifflet (The WHistle) History of a Collection by Jacques M. Bokobsa, a world class legendary collector. Preface by Pierre Catanes a leading scholar, and outstanding photos by Gilbert Nencioli. Appolgies for Photos that do injustise with the fantastic book & photos, I had to share my excitement, this book will take weeks to look thru enjoy admire and learn. To be continued… ( A. Strauss )