Police Fire-Genaral Service Whistles-2-note-cylinderical-whistles-two-notes-tube-whistles-gsws-bobbie-whistle

Police & Fire, Genaral service whistles, 2 note cylinderical whistles, two notes tube whistles, GSWs, Bobbie whistle
Police or Fire whistles, The City whistle, The City Police. (To be cont.)   A Strauss Copyright © 2009

Preface : This article was written about 8 years ago and was published 2009 in the older whistle museum website. I bring it as is albeit  I have learned many things and meanwhile discovered more whistles and gained some more knowledge although it may have some mistakes I leave it as is  I would try and find time to edit meanwhile I bring it as it is, but I shall add a note that the number 13 referred to patent class, at the time I did not know that .
It is my observation today that these stamps and whistles are a huge subject since it was an important outlet for many makers , for two reasons:
1) The minimum order at the time was the quantity of 144 (Twelve dozens ) whistles, making a particular stamp was expensive and so these whistles were in use with many smaller forces and rural police , Fire brigades etc that did not or could not order that minimum in a particular time point.
2) Hudson did have a very large part of the market with the Metropolitan Whistle type and ” The answer to the Metropolitan ”  was the City Police Police Or Fire etc, stamps  which gave smaller companies a break thru to many smaller forces,  local suppliers and individuals.

You are welcome to ask questions or send to my email : info@avnerstrauss.com
or join the antique whistle group in facebook , It proved very helpful in sharing and learning about whistles .
Best wishes Aver Strauss

Police & Fire, General service whistles, 2 note cylinderical whistles, Two notes tube whistles – ( TNT or TNTW) , GSWs, Bobbie whistle
Police or Fire whistles, The City whistle, The City Police. (To be cont.)
A Strauss Copyright © 2009
These whistles are a favorite subject of mine, a subject usually over looked by whistle collectors & little researched,  there are  few hundred variations made by many British makers (Yates, Ward, Hudson, Walton, DeCourcy , Barrall ) and by German, American, Chinese & Indian makers, as well as stamps by Numerous RETAILERS & Companies,  many yet to be discovered .
All these whistles belong to the professional type whistles referred to as General service whistles, GSW’s, [ we all should be in debt to Martin Gilchrist who was a pioneer and mentor  in the research of GSW’s – General Service Whistles , a term he coined and his marvelous books about whistles ]   2 note cylinderical whistles, Two notes tube whistles, Bobbie whistle.

All these whistles have two main stamp variations;

A)  Stamps with the words “Police or Fire” or “Fire & Police”

B ) Stamps with the word “City” included (“The City police ” or “The City Police or Fire” etc.) *

Many times a maker can be identified by the wording / name of whistle
and by the stamp design and number of lines, I had made a list of these body stamps and still work on it.
The evolution of the stamps follows somewhat a chronological order , The city, The City Police , The city Police or Fire, City police or fire whistle.
There are hundreds of stamp variations and since these were made over a relatively long period they can serve whistle enthusiasts well for a comparative study & research.
Another aspect is that most do not carry the makers name and it is a challenge to identify the maker which at times needs  research, comparing and observing, using  small details to identify the maker. NMM is short here for no maker mark.
Some stamps can serve well to Identify the maker.

Since it is a new subject and has many aspects I will slowly update it, these whistles were all made from the late 1880s to 1930s , and used for various purposes notably with many factories mainly textile and arms Companies & Laboratories, were dangers of fire hazards were crucial & by local police and security forces all over the old world.



H A Ward , “The Standart Police or Fire Whistle”, two stamp variations, one with maker’s name, one without.
2 Lines Stamp & 4 Lines Stamp. made 1889 to early 1900. Nickel Plated Brass 88mm. superior sound and quality, Ward’s top model.
Continue reading Police Fire-Genaral Service Whistles-2-note-cylinderical-whistles-two-notes-tube-whistles-gsws-bobbie-whistle

Julius Heinrich Zimmermann, Important German Whistle Manufacturer, History , Samples & Catalog Pages by Avner Strauss

Jul. Heinr. Zimmerman, Important German Whistle Manufacturer, Maker, History & Samples by A. Strauss, Catalog Pages ( (Under Construction)
Julius Heinriech Zimmermann, (1851-1923) was a large musical instruments maker , publisher, and whistle maker, his family kept his business running but at some point (C. 1928 )they had abandoned whistle  and musical instrument manufacturing ׂׂׂׂ in favor of music publishing.

Catalog Julius Heinrich Zimmermann  1899 Pg 2. whistle museum 600A picture of his workshop circa 1899 , on the shelves on the right hand side one may see a variety of whistles.

== Zimmerman Addresses & Branches ==

Factory ; 17 Seqan St. Liepzig, Germany
Shop and show rooms; 26-28 Quer St. Liepzig
Branches established year
St. Petersburg in 1875
Moskow 1882
Liepzig in 1886
London 1897
Riga 1905

Zimmerman became one of the most important merchants and manufacturers, with branches in Moscow, London, Riga and Leipzig. Although at the beginning the clientele consisted mainly of amateur musicians, professionals were not far behind.

== History ==

The Zimmermann family was of German origin. Musikverlag Zimmermann traces its roots back to a shop for German musical instruments near the Nevsky Prospekt established by Julius Heinrich Zimmermann (1851-1923) in 1876.
In 1880 he set up a factory for brass instruments. Soon he began publishing methods for all instruments, the first official publication was a Method for Flute by Ernesto Köhler in 1885.
Zimmermann also developed new designs for flutes and was one of the first German saxophone manufacturers. The company also commenced production of string instruments. Zimmermann firm made violins as well , see note*

From 1891 on, the firm produced also mechanical musical instruments.
Later the company was prominent for its balalaikas, developed by Vasily Vasilievich Andreyev.
In 1901, Zimmermann was bestowed with the Order of Saint Stanislaus by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, beginning an association with the Russian tsar, as well as becoming exclusive purveyor of brass instruments to the Russian army.
At that time he signed on Riccardo Drigo and published his most famous ballets.
By 1904, Zimmermann acquired the piano factory of Gustav Fiedler in Leipzig.
It produced then Jul. Heinr. Zimmermann pianos, harmoniums and mechanical musical instruments as well as musical boxes and speaking machines.

From 1905 until 1919, Julius Heinrich Zimmermann was deputy of the German Reichstag and opened a distribution of his company in Berlin. The Russian branches of Zimmermann were nationalised by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

August Zimmermann (1877-1952), son of the founder and general manager in the Saint Petersburg branch, left the country.
The younger brother Wilhelm Zimmermann (1891-1946) was imprisoned and fled for his life to Germany some years later.
Zimmermann published jazz music by German composers and the first German book about this genre. Additionally, the company began offering light music for orchestra. The publishing company was separated from the instruments factories in 1928. August Zimmermann led the instrument sector until the insolvency 1933. Wilhelm Zimmermann became sole owner of the publishing company. Being of part-Jewish ancestry, he was officially prohibited from operating his business from 1933, but still managed his company during the whole Nazi regime.
After his death, his widow Edith Zimmermann (1900-1975) did not receive a license from the Soviet military authority to continue publishing and the firm was formally confiscated by the East German authorities. She reached the west, and established the company in Frankfurt. She extended the catalogue with new, young composers and educational publications. When she died in 1975, she had rebuilt a world-renowned venture. Her daughter Maja-Maria Reis (1929-2000) became managing director. Due to her foresight, the company joined with Robert Lienau in 1991. Today the Zimmermann catalogue presents about 3,000 books, including copyrights by Keiko Abe, Siegfried Behrend, Cesar Bresgen, Siegfried Fink, Kurt Hessenberg and Paul Juon.

== Catalog and samples ==

His 1899-1901 Whistle catalog is the earliest and largest German one I had found.
In fact it is the 2nd largest catalog of whistles from the 19th Century.
Catalog Pg of 1899 , 1901 Catalogs
Pg. 128 of a Large whistle catalog named “ Diverse Signalinstrumente
I will continue the article later / Mean while I believe you may see here some whistles collectors meet and were previously unidentified.
Catalog Julius Heinrich Zimmermann 1899 P 128 Whistle Museum LibraryFrom top to Bottom
A high quality double end Beaufort and round pea whistle for policemen. 75mm
note the price is Just under 1 Mark while the next one costs over 3 .
2nd from top
A Horn with valve piston and reed whistle used for hunting and  Firemen. 16 cm.
3rd same as two but it has a small round pea none reed whistle for another signal sound , constructed on top. 18 cm.
Last is a two piston valved horn which was used in band and marching bands and comes with an album of musical repertoire for marching bands.

Catalog Julius Heinrich Zimmermann1901 P131 whistle museum archive
Catalog Page Number 131 of 1899
Showing top to bottom ,
Model # 6421 A Torpedo siren whistle , 65 mm in heavy cast brass case, the top turns and comes of to reveal the vents , the top is held by a pin. Torpedopfeife , Trillerpfeife, by Zimmermann, Pat. # 31884  I bbelieve around 1895
Whistle Museum Torpedo Siren Pfeife , Trillerpfeife, by Zimmermann, Pat. 31884 side
An early “London type”  Snail whistle , Model # 16420 without compass and # 16422 with Compass ,
Heavy nickel plated brass with embossed circle within circle pattern which was popular at the time 1890’s and up to late 30’s.
A quality whistle made to a high standard , also made by Martin’s signal in later years.(with different model names as ‘Mephisto’ and others)
A 2 note French style fife used for army made  Baduel (French maker ) , made of Nickel plated brass. ( French made noted were made of cast lead).
A Boatswain’s. Bosun whistle (14 cm.) early pattern that was later adopted by U.S Companies,and navy .
Note its price is double of the Torpedo siren , because its made of silver.
and became identified with U.S.A. Bosun whistles ( Boatswain’s Pipe ).

Last on page 131 is a price list of 13 types of Bird and animal calls for hunting. ( Jugdlockpfeifen )

Catalog Julius Heinrich Zimmermann 1899 P128 whistle museum Library
Pg. 129 shows some rare whistles
seldom met with even by experienced collectors.
Model # 16402  A Transportation whistle with a double end,  that has a reed whistle with two reeds located inside , a 5th (Musical Interval )  apart , the slider switches the pitch from one to the other, A very clever unique design, It has a flared horn bell to amplify the sound , the other end is a round pea whistle, which is also affected by the slide position.  (Length 12 cm , It is much larger than others on the same catalog page ) Very Rare.
Zimmermann Pfeifen Katalog Trillerpeife 1890s deutschland whistle museum

This whistles were made mostly for the German and French markets .

Next Two models of round whistles has  peas & were used by Swiss & French railway conductors.
The last one on this pg. #6413 was made in England as well by few makers in the Mid. 1890’s and are hard to find,  short Bosun type with complete round ball .

German whistles Zimmerman 1899 Pg 130 whistle museum library
Pg. 130 Brass , slide whistle
Variations of Pressed Horn made whistles
No. 6017 Has a screw mouthpiece . Horn Screw Mouth Piece by Zimmermann  1890s Germany whistle museum
and another siren brass whistle called torpedo as well used for bicyclists and
simmilar to the one disscused in a former entry about F. Mosseberg Co.

Zimmerman shop in Petersburg c 19001900,  a marching band passing Jul. Hein. Zimmermann shop in St Petersburg, whistle museum archive.

To be Cont
there were violin made with a No. from 4000 to 4065 – Village-violin (from 5,–M), Beginner’s violin (from 7,–M), Schoolviolin (from 8,– M.), Orchestra Violin (from 15,– M.), Copies after italien. Master Amati/Guarnerius/Stradivarius/Maggini (from 25,– M.), Solo-Instruments
(from 60,– M.), violin with whole back side and carvered Snake (from 75,– M.), Concertviolin (from 100,– M.) und Masterviolin (from 150,– M.).
List of violinmaker, who worked for Zimmermann: Robert Hammig, Reichel, Roth, Bohlig und Paulowitsch,     Julius Heinrich Zimmermann violin on Youtube


Whistle museum article and photos and content by Avner Strauss, all right reserved , 2008
no part of this webpage is to be used without the explicit permission of the owner.
Posted by WHISTLE MUSEUM at 7/31/2010 11:59 AM
Categories: Whistle Manufacturers History and Samples by A.Strauss
Tags: Jugd horn music publisher collectibles signalinstrument catalog Trillerpfeife. Signalpfeife. whistls katalog


19th Century Round Pea Whistles Timeline History and more. By A. Strauss

Early 1870 master piece, round pea whistle ,By J.Hudson or Linegar whistle museum
Above J. Hudson 1870’s Round Pea whistle with a stop hole, Birmingham.

See READ MORE For few dozens photos


This article is just a glimpse and a part of Part one in a very long 7 part research into this type of whistles,  consider it a first draft , There are MANY more which can be accurately dated and way more which I could not yet accurately date
but as a draft it may inspire others and you may send and email to info@avnerstrauss.com to add ask contact.
I would try to first cover  mostly British 19th Century and some whistles of other countries without going into many details, since some countries deserve another article.
Part one is a draft and 19th Century General Time line and whistle designs.

Continue reading 19th Century Round Pea Whistles Timeline History and more. By A. Strauss

Spherical , Globular shaped whistles and More By A. Strauss (23 photos)

Spherical whistles is a term I use for various whistles , Globular shaped Balloon shaped and others which were not in use in Marine vessels or as Swiss and French railway whistles , Known as short Buson type whistles , but for Hawking, Bird calls , and Bicycle whistles , It is also known as Short Buson or Swiss Railway whistle. there is a large variety of French made toy and military whistles which were made in France when Flying Balloons were popular, although they do have a spherical sound chamber the mouthpiece is note a pipe (See last photos samples of round whistles with spherical sound chamber). The term Globular whistle appears on old catalogs.
Early swiss 17th 18th century  Hawking whistle spherical whistle museumThe above Hawking whistle was made in Switzerland c 17th, 18th Century ,
It has a the look and feel of a Copper and Bronze mixture I did not see before.

Continue reading Spherical , Globular shaped whistles and More By A. Strauss (23 photos)

The First Known Patent for an American Escargot, Snail, Referee Type Whistle 1869 USA Patent , Early American whistles (1) A.Strauss

Pat. # 91,704 June 22 ,1869 .The whistle is made of a tin metal sheet .
I found the actual sample in 2005

1869 First USA Patd. for referee whistle whistle museumDrawing of the Patent, originally designed to be made in large size as steam whistle of brass, or a small tin mouth whistle.
Continue reading The First Known Patent for an American Escargot, Snail, Referee Type Whistle 1869 USA Patent , Early American whistles (1) A.Strauss

19th Century British Snail Whistles, Referee, Escargot Whistles, Rare Antique Whistles

( Under construction ) Includes 65 Photos
1881 Maker L. D. sold by Ortner & Houle 3 James St. London , Snail whistle (Escargot ) shaped whistle.
1881 DL Snail whistle ..Escargot _ whistle _museum
The article is about British snail (Escargot ) whistles made with in Victorian times.
Other articles about Snail Button type whistles which is a sub- category and as far as I know came first  but there is less information about its makers will follow.

Three  whistle Models made by Henry Arthur Ward late 1880’s and early 1890’s
Glasgow style construction and stamped;
Alpha Improved Call No. 23 No. 24 and 25
As with most referee standart types the smaller models are rarer , and so Model # 25 was first noted after 2005 .
These were made in his Alpha Gun Works in Birmingham.

Henry Arthur Ward 3 whistle Models Alpha Gun works Escargot, snail whistles whistle museum

Continue reading 19th Century British Snail Whistles, Referee, Escargot Whistles, Rare Antique Whistles

Slide whistle, J. Stevens & Son Model # 36 Glasgow, nineteenth Century ,England

Stevens & Sons  Glasgow and London , see British Whistle Manufacturer History ,  The whistle was Probably made around 1850’s and designed by Richard Porteous. It is marked a Model # 36 on the body.
( August 5,  1802 – Jan. 3, 1881)
Closed position stevens's slide model 36It is a  brilliant  design since while other slide whistles of the period 1840’s and 1850’s had a sliding rod which could be moved in and out inside to determin the pitch , this design has the cap top around the body and the sliding part is out side the whistle’s body.

Open position & back sidestevens model 36 whistle backside

The Three partsstevens model 36 whistle 3 parts

Certainly a  very innovative tricky design, of a Slide whistle, unlike most slide whistles it has a smaller register within a range of a 5th, not a full octave. C – G notes.  the picture above shows its unassembled 3 parts.
The shorter part has a fillet and longer one a flare outward , so once the longer part (middle of  picture) slides into the shorter part which is just a bit wider  and comes to a stop at the flare, then the loop – knop top screws on top and the and by pulling the knop the slide works making the whistle shorter or longer.
The top part is cast and milled and has a screw thread on the inner part, all made of one piece.
All in all very rare and extremely well made whistle.
Made of German silver.

Whistle museum, and whistlepedia A.Strauss All rights reserved, No part of this web page is to be used without a written permission from the author.

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Whistle museum, Copyright © 2008, all rights reserved.


American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A (Part 1, At work)

American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A

  Hello friends and collector and whistle enthusiasts
I will slowly bring some old articles that lost parts and pictures ( the original article had over 60 Photos )
and try and bring nw ones as well as time permits .
You are welcome to joine the Antique whistle group on Face book as well .

A.Strauss   Copyright 2009                                                 (Part 1, At work) * Since the article was written 2008 many new facts catalogs and whistles were found and some are still waiting to be discovered. Hopefully I will find time to update.
And find pictures that were lost.


American escargot whistles are a wide new subject
the internet is very much alive and flexible and
I work , study  write and add pictures and notes at my own pace.
If you are a frequent visitor you may have noticed that I add,
change and improve old entries when ever I have time,
or  when gaining new pictures or insights.

As much as I had tried to study the subject, there is still a lot more which I do not know,
since there is very little documentation of these.

Unlike  british made escargots which can be identified with time and maker,
one finds that there is no information  when it comes to American whistles and makers.

Since the subject is one of wide scope, implies hundreds of different samples and there are no prior  studies  to rely upon,
I will arrange and add information slowly as time permits.
Meanwhile I hope the visitors  of this pages will enjoy the pictures.

I have used some found in the whistle museum picture archive
found on different web sites or sent to me by other collectors.
Of cource any additional information or questions are welcome.

* I will concentrate on “Bubble top” escargots , or spherical knop as some collectors call it,
[ An entry was devoted not long ago to Winchester whistles and other American made bubble top escargots with the unique construction with interlocking  sides & teeth or   “flaps’  ] ,
Deal with some other interesting variations,  may be at another entry deal with others,.

In general U.S.A made whistles from 1900 to 1950 are mostly of the Glasgow type escargots either with Bubble top , or with Hump back cap, or Flat loop  and have a simmilar size and construction.

A List of over 50 Body stamps found on U.S.A made Bubble top escargot whistles,
or whistles used in the U.S.A would be added .
There are many more stamps on other escargot types. Sporting Goods companies, Rail Road whistles, Military – Army whistles,  Police, Arms companies and more.

German made whistles that were intended mostly for the U.S.A. market at the period of 1900 to 1930’s and are to be found only in the U.S.A  deserve a special entry.

Other commonly used whistles were made by J.Hudson, “The acme Thunderer ” and other types, many of which were ordered by American companies and many carrying their logos. These would be treated in another entry since they differ from the common Hudson whistles only in Body stamps.
Some of the American Makers of these are ; B.G.I, Horstmann, B & R , Gotham metal works, Colsoff, Wilson, North Brothers and others, many makers  are  unidentified as of now.

Inspection of small details, can be very rewarding when trying to know more about these whistles , The cap, The Tooth grips, the window, the pea, the general construction, the tongue type,  no tongue, the shape of the beak- mouthpiece, the size , color & patina,
Each one of these is important when studying whistles.

Unstamped American whistle

A_Strauss_on_American_whistles,_Antique_whistles,ESC_USA_Brass_Ball_Bubble_whistle museum_

Continue reading American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A (Part 1, At work)

Whistle Museum


A web site dedicated to whistles, research and collecting whistles. by Avner Strauss.

The well known foremost website Whistlemuseum is now in the progress of rebuilding.

See you soon! Please feel free to contact for advice on whistles. We will not be able to answer all questions only questions with a photo attached can be answered.

Thanks for visiting and sharing

Avner Strauss