Black & Co. ( David Black ) 81 North Frederick St. Glasgow – 1885 (or 1883) to 1898 , Zin & Tin workers Packing-Case Makers were pioneers of Snail type whistle making and may well have been the first to use the title ‘ Thunderer ‘ for a whistle.
Little was known about the company’s History, a new whistle; the first one stamped with maker’s name which proved to be a Key Whistle, triggered me to more research and findings .
Previously many whistles as these, none stamped whistles attributed to Black showed, All 5 piece London type snail ( Escargot ) whistles.
Here is the new one, fully stamped found.
Black & Co., Ltd.
Address : 81 North Frederick St. Glasgow
1886 Glasgow post office directory.
Mrs. Black was manager of the Black & Co. Making cases, By 1886 they were already registered as a Ltd. Co, During 1883 – 89 Mrs. Black & David were living in 6 Ailsa St. Hillhead, (West Glasgow) Later renamed Vinicombe St. .
The first time the Co. appears in directories is 1886, so we can safely assume they already active in 1885.
The Manager of the co. in 1887 and later was a man named John Shaw Carmichael, Living in 11 Bloomfield Place , so the company must had few workers.
David Black may had been the first to make Escargot whistles and Joined the respected group of Victorian Glasgow whistle makers including Samuel Auld , Peter McDonald we may add Henry Arthur Ward since he was probably active there for a while making similar London type and Glasgow type whistles.
David Black made various size London type snail whistles in Brass and Nickel Plated Brass. including Button Snail Whistles (Glasgow Police ), Coin side whistles.
It is possible that Black made other whistles and maybe Zin – lead made ones as well as other types yet to be found. I shared some of the whistles I have by Black & Co.
Here are Black’s earlier ‘Thunderer’ stamped whistles, excluding the left one stamped toward top by H.A. Ward which is identical to some Black’s ( Except for top bubble ).
Next is a photo of a Later stamp a typical Black’s : ‘The Thunderer’ Logo
Note the rectangular frame which were made after the earlier Thunderers above.
It seems that the flourishing of the company along with the Escargots – Snail whistles boom in the mid 1880s made them the first target for J.Hudson – Acme Whistles take over in 1898 buying their stock and tools . ( It should not be confused with a retailer named John Black & Co. (Glasgow ) stamp found in the Hudson book of stamps )
3 Black & Co. made London type Snail whistles , Left shows the smallest model Mid. a 1888 Coin whistle, right a Glasgow Police Button whistle with upper mouth piece lip replaced. Next picture show the same front of the same three.
Left one has a P. Paisley Glasgow retailer stamp.
1890s Military Cape Goverment Railway ( South Africa ) with Black’s typical
Thunderer Logo in a rectangular frame.
Black & Family are not to be found in Glasgow after that year so it is possible they left Glasgow.
One of the major outlets for Black & Co. whistles were the McPherson Bros. located at 156 Argyle st. Glasgow at that period .
Here are a few whistles , all made by Black & Co. excluding the one on left made by Hudson, post 1898.
You may had seen some on my ARTICLE written years ago which should be updated sometimes.
I would like to thank Mr. P. Owen for his help and brainstorming some of the issues regarding this maker.
Article whistles & photos by A.Strauss , All rights reserved.
Questions regarding whistles ? Please send with photos ,