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

Police & Fire, General service whistles, 2 note cylindrical 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.
5 line stamp .”City Police or Fire”
H A Ward two different size windows.
Ward L;79 mm D; 15 mm.

H A Ward, (5 lines stamp) on an a very early one  1889 early 1890s, with two windows of different size, one much smaller than the other.image008

The small one 10mm, being the smallest used window in police whistles of this type.
At first I thought it may had been a one of a kind but found a twin and it is an early type H A Ward and the only known British GSW to use this.
So if there windows at different heights ( Coney’s Alarm ) there are windows of different size.


H. A. Ward  Cont.
“The City Police or Fire Whistle” H A Ward or  for B. Lily & Sons, NMM.
Note stamp is away from window. NMMimage011

The above sample is actually stamped H. A. Ward Bm,
very rare and the only one found with makers name after observing few dozens. ( Meanwhile few were found 2016 )


Lot of 6 H. A Ward “The City Police or Fire Whistle” there are differences in stamp punches & stamp direction, some carry an extra stamp in the back side.
All made for B Lily & Sons , Birmingham who were located on Barr St. as Hudson, and sold whistles by other makers.
Lily ordered his whistles with Loop Hole not parallel to Window. or in right angle to window image014

Above Stamp away from Top.

H. A. Ward made for B. Lily & Sons with stamp away from window.


” The City Police or fire whistle” ( 3 lines, stamp along body) made by T. Yates for B. Lily & Sons Birmingham. two variations.
Stamp is away from the top. Note body & Top cap same diameter.

A DeCourcy,  Whistles below, left to right; “London City Police” , “The City Police or Fire Whistle Patent “(4 lines+ The Milbro), Model # 49  C.1916( rare top variation),
Mid. left The City Police or Fire Whistle” (3 lines + Patent) Model # 33, N.Silver,
“City Police” Early De Courcy ‘Pat. App. For’ rare stamp.
4 Lines stamp, Steel Top & Body that was platedand nickel plated brass mouthpiece
and last, 6 line stamp 3 lines + Full address.& Patent. 82mm.

De Courcy “The City Police or Fire whistle patent” & “The City Whistle Patent” note the carved city as in Hudson’s stamps.
4 line stamp. (NMM) De Courcy made over 50 different whistles with stamp variations, among which are his Models # 50 , 51, 52, 33, and others . Some have his Name & Address stamped, ( His name was stamped on whistles produced after 1905 , but he made whistles since 1888 ) I will discuss more of these further later.

The City Police or Fire Whistle ” Patent ( 3 lines) De Courcy Model # 152 on the right.
A De Courcy (more to come)

3 Heavy large whistles, NP (Nickel Plated ),  may had been made been cast by a different maker possibly B.Lily & Sons who made cast whistles .
“City Police or Fire Whistle” (5 lines stamp) and 3 line stamp .
The one in center is cast of unfamiliar bright grey metal. others NP. Brittania metal. the one on right hand side has milling to mouth piece.

B. H. A. riddle

This whistle is missing the MP 72mm, “The Standart Police or Fire / Whistle”
in Two lines, The first four words stamped in one line all around the tube.
The only stamp of this kind met with, Below” Parker Winder & Achurch Ltd.”
and B H A  above windows. one known .The diaphragm has two parallel Diamond shaped extentions of partition going thru disk. (As in Bent & Parker early models )

It seems that B. H. A may had been a maker from other whistles, and if he was a retailer what is Parker stamp is there ?
The loop is almost as wide as the DeCourcy stamped B. H. A  whether he was a maker or retailer he liked his loops a certain way.

Above “The Standart Police or Fire” L;  86 mm By De Courcy
Diaphragm Patent 3725 of 1906.   Partition has curved stamp, Patent. NP Brass & The heaviest Loop observed on a Gsw.


German; ” City Police And Fire Whistle  Goolab No. 13.
(5 line stamp), Made in Germany, These German whistles have a top that is made to a DeCourcy Patent. & the No. 13 Model appears on some Hudson made whistles as well. ( Class 13 was for Bells Foghorns , Sirens and whistles, at the U.K Patent office )
(NMM) Made by Calura Germany.
German, 6 line stamp City police… Rangoon. Made by Calura, note the loop simmilar to Decourcy’s patent.

German, body made of different uncommon metal “Fire or Police Grundex Shanghai” ( Textile Fac.) 1910 – 1920s, Calura, Germany.

“Best Police And Fire Whistle made in Germany Imported By Textile Productions” with Trade mark logo below windows depicting a winged globe. NMM. 79 mm.

German made by Calura, “City police and  Fire Whistle ( 3 Lines) +
A.S Jeewa Rangoon, No 13 Made in Germany. NMM.
L;83 mm. Tube Diameter;16 mm.

It is interesting to note that Calura used the  two piece top,
Top / loop pattern That is identical to A DeCourcy Patent # 101303 of 1916.

B & R Made in U.S.A.

American , Made by B & R, this one is stamped “The Metropolitan Fire or Police Whistle B & R” 6 lines stamp, earlier and rarer variation of the more commonly found B & R. image040
Other B & R variations are
“City Police & Fire Whistle” (5 lines, NMM)
” B & R City Police & Fire Whistle” (6 Lines). A Later made one and 2 mm
The mark & is actually the figure 8 on all The B & R whistles.
A general rule of thumb; ones marked “Fire or Police” are less often met with, most marked “Police or Fire”.


J Hudson & Co.
made numeruos variations and could use a different entry,
below is an early 1885 to 1890s whistle stamped
“The City Patent Whistle” inside a circle, Diaphragm disk stamped “patent” .
Solid one piece cast top as early Hudson’s.
This stamp was the inspiration for many cheaper whistles made in India which evetually led Hudson to make models of lesser quality to compete.


Two Pre WWI Indian made whistles , close up on stamps.
Both marked ” The City Police whistle”. image046

“City Police or Fire City Whistle, Patent ” Back Stamped H Adams, Diaphragm stamped Hudson’s Patent .For Patent 19700/1898, Tines towards top. Rare.


J B Orock & Co. New York,
Made by Hudson




Pair of 1920s City Police or Fire Made by Hudson for CTW’s’ (C.T.Willet)

J. Barrall


NMM, “City Police”, Unique bubble top and round stamp. made by J. Barrall, Birminghamm . Below same whistle a made of NP brass with standart loop. NMM , J Barrall.image051

R. A Walton
R A Walton “City Police” Round Stamp,
Patent No. 10492, J.J Harley Ld. Liverpool.


To be Cont.


R.H. Walton …

* The answer to the Metropolitan
Whistle Museum,  A.Strauss Copyright © 2009.

Posted by WHISTLE MUSEUM at 4/2/2009 8:04 AM
Categories: By Shape and type
Tags: antique whistles Fire Brigade Police or Fire whistles collecting whistles


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8 thoughts on “Police Fire-Genaral Service Whistles-2-note-cylinderical-whistles-two-notes-tube-whistles-gsws-bobbie-whistle”

  1. I have a (maybe silver plated) brass whistle

    On the top near the ring is marked
    PATENT 5727.08

    Was used in Australia possibly by an officer of protective srevises – prison warder.

    Any information and indication of value.

  2. My whistle has no marking except THE Metropolitan. And. MADE IN ENGLAND. Towards the mouthpiece…seems to be solid brass , tube type, lanyard hole parallel with window. I don’t see any like it in the pictures. Very interesting viewing…

  3. Hello, my whistle is 3 lines: The City Patent Whistle. No other markings. The words ‘the city’ and ‘whistle’ form a curved circle. I saw photos of this whistle on your page, but couldn’t quite gather what year you’d estimate it is from.

    Many thanks for any help you can offer.

    Best wishes,

  4. Hi – Thanks many times !

    Your catalogue made me identify my old brass whistle : City Police or Fire Made by Hudson CTW’S of the 1920′ s

    Kind regards

    Ralph ( Heidelberg – Germany )

  5. I have a whistle with” The Acme City
    Patent” engraved on it. The whistle also has a bronze tag on the ring at the top with the number 049 engraved on it. On the dome of the whistle there is PATENT 572700 engraved also. Can you tell me anything further about this number please. I think it belonged to a policeman in the Hammersmith area, connected to the family.

  6. Good Evening I have an Old B&R City Police & Fire whistle, I am curious to it’s value and who maybe interested, it maybe an Indian made whistle

  7. hello Avner.
    werry interesting page. congratulacions.

    i found on a flee-market en bulgarias a very particular signal flute. looks like a tiny organ pipe made off lead. its marked I. Man Cornett=CS.
    i just restored it, and it works fine.

    do you have any idea what this has been for, or where it comes from?

    if you are interested i send you some pictures.

    all the best.

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