Charles Parker, A Birmingham Whistle Maker History and News about Dowler & Sons A.Strauss

Charles Parker was a maker of professional  whistles in the first half of the 19th Century in Birmingham.

Although he died early  in 1852 he had a great impact . As inventor he may well had been the first to design the First Beaufort whistle with the common STANDARD design in the late 1840s, and the Wedge diaphragm .
See Photos of 3 Standard Beaufort shaped (Two Notes Conical Whistles ) with
Parker’s name stamp variations. (Along Body Parker ,  Parker & Dowler and Parker facing top)

His connection to William Dowler (Later & Sons ) In the early 1850s  is a fascinating find and led me to observe Dowler & Sons were  the first to supply Police & Constabulary whistles stamped with a force name .
(some through agents ).
The history of this newly discovered maker is entwined with the history of few companies mostly The Merry family & Dowler ( Footnote)*
The 42 Cherry St. Birmingham can be used as a center point to tell some of what I had found up to now.

Birmingham , Cherry St. view 1880s

The address of 42 Cherry St. ( # 40 & 41 were used by the Merry family as well in various years ) served as a Brass foundry and all manufacturers mentioned were Button &  Military Ornament Makers, beside other goods. Here are the various companies occupying The address as mentioned by various sources in Chronological order :
Merry Joseph & Son 1815 cut brad and military ornament makers.
Henry Merry 1918
Merry J. & H  1818 – 1823  picture frame and military ornament manuf. Henry Merry and Theophilus Merry 1829-33  brass founders, and picture frame and military ornament manufrs. 41 Cherry st.
Joseph Phipson with H. Merry and T. Merry 1935
[1830 * Joseph Phipson  12 New St. Button Maker ( still in 1835 Directory ) ]
Merry, Phipson, and Parker 1939
Merry Parker & Merry (1845 – C. 1847-8 ) { Merry Shows after 1845 at other addresses }
Charles Parker (from C 1847 to his death in 1852)
Parker & Dowler C  1852 ?
William Dowler from c. 1852 ** until c 1881 when changing to Great Charles st.

It seems that around 1850 Dowler & Parker  may Had a short Partner ship , suggested by the stamp Parker & Dowler  (double stamp) on a Beaufort whistle

that would explain Dowler continuing the making of whistles designed and made by Parker , and his move to the 42 Cherry St.  address after Parker passed away.

A Beaufort type whistle made by Parker c 1847 to 1850 .***A Merry Phipson & Parker Brass c 1840 to 1845. Two notes Conical whistle (T.N.C.W) years later his type was named ‘Beaufort’ by the workers at the
J. Hudson & Co. workers. another view of this beaufort whistle .Stamped ‘Merry Parker & Merry ‘ it does have the flat top but the ring quality makes one doubts it is a Dixon,  so do other details , so I tend to think these were actually made by Parker.

Three whistles by Charles Parker and on the left and one by J. Dixon & Sons , First from left a German Silver Beaufort stamped ‘Merry Phipson & Parker’ made Pre 1845, 2nd is a Brass made by Parker stamped ‘Merry Parker & Merry’
c. 1847   3rd one has the same stamp c. 1846 right one seems to me a Dixon & Sons Made in the same period , note the seam is going through window, a feature the other 3 do not have.
Here is a closeup of the two and the Dixon on the right has the slightly domed top ( Typical to Dixon at that era)  

Next is a short Single Note Conical Whistle ( S.N.C.W ) ****

 Parker SNCW single note conical whistles.

Right C. Parker Made short single note conical whistle (SNCW)  C. 1847- 49 Mid one is a Durham County Constabulary, Note the stamp toward top typical to  Dowler , Left British Guiana Police Force. The Mid one ( Durham county const. force est. 1839 ) is by William Dowler 1850s and seems to be the first whistle with a named Force stamp.

History
Charles Parker , C.  Parker
(Brass Founder, Manufacturer and Inventor ) , Military Ornaments and Plated Buttons, Railway whistle  42 Cherry St
Charles Parker did his apprentice between 1815 and 1822 with William & Thomas Powel Brass founders, his dad was Listed as Charles Parker the elder and he was the younger. They were both said to have been of Lint House Hill Top Near Bromsgrove, Worcestshire. His dad was a Victualler ( One who supplied the army ) .
He joined Merry & and Phipson c. 1939,  the partnerhip dissolved c 1845 and in later years we see C. Parker Staying in 42 Cherry St.
Here is a clip from 1849 Directory In other Directories of these years he appears as a Railway Whistle maker
1849 Parker Charles, (late Merry, Parker, and Merry,) mnir. of military ornaments, gilt and plated buttons, shoe and garter clasps, inventor of the improved letter clip & rlwy. whistles, 42, Cherry st.
He Registered a whistle patent between 1847 to 1849 and I assume he may had been the inventor of the Wedge Diaphragm and the two notes Beaufort as later became a Standard, ( It seems that earlier Dixon Beaufort whistles did not use a wedge diaphragm but used a tiny interval between the two notes not a wedge diaphragm , but this is certainly something that has to be further researched )
In 1852 he died at his home on Gravelly Hill, Erdington.
A Quote from a forum by a descendant by the name of colin brings further info:
“My Gt Grandfather and his history in Brass foundry in the area are detailed below but his daughter Maray Hannah PARKER took a part in the business between his death and her marriage to Dr Charles Yarwood. Her son Charles Parker Yarwood ran the business in due course tho his sons went to other lands and only one, Frank Noel Yarwood, returned to UK ”
So it seems that there may had been a short pause beween C Parker death and Dowler taking over from Maray Hannah Parker & Frank Noel Yarwood.

 Some additional notes relating to Parker & The Merry Family History .

Merry Phipson & Parker Brass Button Makers Cherry  St. Birmingham.
In the 1835 Directory  prior to Parker & Phipson joining ,
Merry Henry &  Theophilus at Cherry St. 
at that year Joseph Phipson is listed at 12 Newhall St. a note I read hints that he went bankrupt prior to joining Merry.
* [ Note: John Lilly & Co. Military Ornaments makers were at 28 Newhall st. 1850’s ] Some more info Regarding Merry family, quoted from directories
1845 Merry Henry & Theophilus, chemical works, Sherborne wharf, Sherborne st. metal rolling mills, Lower Fazeley st
1845  Merry, Phipson & Parker, manufacturers of military ornaments, gilt & plated buttons, 42 Cherry st
1849 Merry Mrs. Mary (late H. & T. Merry), cobalt and nickel refiner, and
german silver manufacturer, Sherborne street wharf; home at 19 Gough street

The history of The Merry family can be seen by taking a look at the upper chart of 42 Cherry St. & Dates, a lot more can be added but albeit the article is about whistles I thought I may bring two examples of their fine Brass work 
So here is a Candle extinguisher by Merry Phipson & Parker Number 908 Registered design 1841 .

And a Paper Clip, Merry Phipson & Parker were well known for their paper clips see many in google image search as I did ,

They did have few dozen models and some registered designs but one can certainly be impressed with the fine workmanship .
Further info and whistles and dates will be updated.

Well well well a new whistle found in my photo archive ( Sorry , a bad photo ) makes a big difference it looks like it is a J.Dixon & Sons made or … well I may have to reconsider some of the whistles as to the maker James Dixon & Sons or C. Parker  …
stamp is : “C. Parker Late Merry Parker & Merry”

* The connection with Dowler is absolute news it is deducted from whistles found and by the address , we still know little about it .
** I did not find the source for the exact year Dowler registered at this address But in the 1854 directory he was there (42 Cherry St. ) under W. Donler (with what seems to be a spelling mistake)  and in 1857 He was registered there and living in Soho Hill.
William Dowler entered two marks, both ‘WD’, with the Birmingham Assay Office, as a military ornament maker, on the 11th June 1857.
*** There is a slight chance I was wrong and It was made by Dowler for Parker
( Parker & Feild , London A  maker and retailer of Police supplies) which Dowler made whistles for later .
**** I previously assumed Dixon & Sons were the makers of many of these whistles and changed my mind dew to more whistles & facts found , now a new update and whistle appeared, see lat one added and I may had been wrong
all over . well well well…

Article by A. Strauss , all right reserved 2017, But I believe this original research would appear in other blogs or books without credit, so welcome again, and thanks for reading. any questions or updates
info@avnerstrauss.com

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