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 )
Russian Folk Art Pottery Clay Whistles with Woman Figures. M. Oboeva (Марианна Обоева)
SHORT INTRO During the years I developed a growing interest in CLAY & POTTERY WHISTLES, first as an amateur collector of these and gradually studying and developong this niche of collecting & study. While doing so I had the pleasure of meeting some great & knowledgeable collectors. Pottery – Clay Whistles had been a subject I had not written about in my blog here, but it is time to start, Clay whistles of different countries Whistles, have typical features , and may be more so with traditional Folk Art. I have asked my honorable guest, Marianna Oboeva to send 10 photos and few words as intoduction to Russian Pottery Clay Whistles. She chose the subject of Women Figures (All whistles). So I leave the stage to a short guest article from Marianna Oboeva a collector, an Artist and expert on Russian whistles, that chase the theme of feminine figures within the subject of Russian Folk Art Clay whistles, In her own words, with Photos. A. Strauss
History and Timeline of ‘William Dowler & Sons’ Whistle, Button & Military Ornaments Manufacturers.
Intro This article (Part III a) focuses on the Birmingham Whistles, Military Ornaments and Button manufacturer William Dowler, later ‘William Dowler & Sons’. It is the continuation of the first article, and an on going research of 15 years, some of the first finds were posted here in 2008 and in the Wikipedia and in 2015- 2016 a revised article about the family which established their business in 1776. See Link, William & George Dowler which presented the family’s history and work.
George Dowler had the bigger manufacturing plant and manufactured whistles which were advertised but not identified to this day, continuing the family’s plants & manufacturing business up to 1870, it was ‘Willian Dowler’ who was the bigger Whistle manufacturer, He started working independently in 1853 and took over the family’s assets in 1876. In fact seeing the whole picture we can say that since 1853 William took an independent path and only in 1876 after legal fights gained control of the other various family plants and assets which George was running up to 1870. Thus between the years 1853 – 1870 There were two different manufacturers; one is Dowler – Birmingham, the other W. Dowler -Birmingham.
For convenience and coherency, I divided the whistles to 6 periods indicated by their different stamps addresses and whistle construction. (These should work well for Buttons stamps as well although whistles stamped Dowler Birmingham, were made by George Dowler and the ones by William Dowler stamped W. Dowler) The described timeline suggests a new understanding and observations of William Dowler’s whistles (and buttons) production, as well as serving as a general guide to dating these by 6 periods. [With that said it should be noted that previously Books & Scholars set the date of W. Dowler to have started producing Two Note Tube whistles (TNT) known to collectors as G.S.W – General Service whistles in 1886 which stands in contradiction to my research, and suggested Dowler did not make Round Pea Whistles]. The article identifies William Dowler as the first to produce whistles for the police forces ( *Foot Notes). We start with the main 6 Periods (# 2 Being the longest Period of about 30 years) of the company, and later discuss whistle types, Stamps, & components with more details and to be expanded later, and as time permits more photos. IN PART III b to follow.
William Dowler was born on 4 September 1813 and died on 1 December 1888. He was the son of Joseph and Hanna Dowler (born Hanna Ancell), & the older brother of George (B.1824), William married in 1850 and lives in Soho Hill. They had three sons Thomas, Arthur, and Austall, the first two were to working with their Dad and later since 1866 name changed to Dowler & Sons and they continued running the company after his death in 1888.
A GENRAL GUIDE TO DATING W. DOWLER WHISTLES BY 6 PERIODS*
A Chart of Stamps time line for quick identification.
A general preview of periods by Stamps, To be expanded with whistles and more details as to construction, types and other details, in part III b . See important footnote,***
First Period, 1853-1856
The address of the plant in this period is 42 Cherry St. During this period, William Dowler is in partnership with the Parker family (Marry Parker), a partnership which started in 1853 following the death of Charles Parker in 1852. The stamp in this period is ‘Parker & Dowler’. Up to 1852-3, William worked as a traveling agent, supposedly for the business of the Dowler family & for C. Parker when he was still alive. Note that during this period William Downer’s name is often misspelled in directories as W. Bowler or W. Downer. Between 1853/4-1856, the business continues to produce metal military accoutrements, using the production line left behind by Charles Parker. On 23 December, 1856 Mary leaves the business, officially disbanding the partnership and leaving William to continue production by himself at the same address, William will remain in this address until 1880.
Second Period, 1857-1885 In photo; 2nd Period Oval stamp up to 1885 -6 since unknown date post 1857
In 1857, under his name alone, William registers the business in the same address for the 1958 directory. He advertises himself as a railway whistle & button maker, and as a WD (War Department) certified manufacturer. During this period, stamps did not include an address, but were simply ‘W. Dowler Birm’, or ‘Birmingham. [That said, it is of course possible that a stamp indicating the address ‘42 Cherry St’ will surface in the future, just as a whistle stamped with J. Hudson’s first address, ‘St. Marks St.’, came to light only in 2020]. This period is divided to two sub periods by address, THE STAMP appears as a single stamp or along another stamp of a Police force. In 1880, William moved to 94 Great Charles Street and employs 27 employees. He is using a small oval stamp; W. Dowler Birm. between the years 1880 to 1885 but he had been using it before since a yet undermined date. The stamp remained as it was although the address had changed. One whistle may be the exception No stamps of W. Dowler Birm. with this address is known on whistles.
Third Period, 1885-6-1900 In Photo; 3rd period typical Dowler ellipse stamp DOWLER & SONS 94 Gt. Charles St. Birmingham. 1886 to 1900 The stamp may show along side body or across and with a force name on other side or below. At times it may show a variation with a retailer’s name following the same ellipse design.
The business becomes Dowler & Sons, and for the first time the exact address is included in the stamp (94 Great Charles Street, should be noted that this address was used by other members of the family at least since 1776) This will be in details in another The chapter to be posted in future, about the family and George Dowler). In 1 December 1888 Dowler dies, age 75, and his Will leaves the business with two of his sons, Thomas William Dowler & Arthur Patrick Dowler which were involved in the business before. It should be mentioned that at this time Alfred DeCourcy, a brilliant whistle maker and later an important whistle maker leaves his work at J. Hudson & Co. as foreman where he was employed from 1882, and some say he may had become a foreman at Dowler. ‘The Decourcy Touch’ is present (In my opinion) in some of Dowler’s stamped whistles, and eventually later he was filling orders for them in the Fifth period. During this period the business thrives, and produces some of their best whistles. In 1893, they register a silver hallmark, WD&S. There were two more silver hallmarks registered with the Birm. essay office but I was not able to yet. The other one was Wm.D& S was observed on a 1891 cased SNC whistle.
Fourth Period, 1900-1904 – Graham St. Works In photo; 4th period ellipse stamp 1900 – 1904 GRAHAM St. WORKS
In 1900, the business moves to 69-70 Graham Street, with the stamp (an elipse shape or oval one) now showing: ‘Dowler & Sons, Graham St. Works, Birmingham’. Some time in 1904, the business is registered as a limited reliability company and the stamp changes to ‘Dowler & Sons Ltd’, which is also how the business name appears in the 1905 directory., so the listing of Ltd. was entered sometime before November 1904. Around 1905 Dowler & sons reduced their own whistle production and outsource this to other Birmingham-based Companies, First with De Courcy which in that year started stamping his whistles with his Frankfort St. address, and then only in the 6th period with Hudson as well. It was at this period that Dowler started using his : COMBINATION OF TWO STAMPS A LARGE OVAL STAMP WITH A LINE IN THE MIDDLE (For Force name) + THE ELLIPSE SHAPED STAMP WITH THE COMPANEY’S NAME inopposing directions. All whistles of this period with TWO STAMP COMBINATION were made by Alfred De Courcy. THE COMBINATION OF TWO STAMPS HAS The ELLIPSE SHAPE DOWLER STAMP CLOSER TO THE TOP AND FACING IT and without Wm before Dowler !
Fifth Period 1905 up to c. 1910 * (To be verified may had been a year earlier)
This period whistles are stamped Dowler & SonsLtd. Most of the whistles are manufactured byA. De Courcy with some rarer ones made by Dowler & Sons with Ellipse stamp Ltd. probably in the earlier part of this period (See stamp).
Sixth Period C. 1910 * To WWII
At this period Dowler completely abandoned the whistle manufacturing part at their factory and ALL are made either by Hudson or De Courcy. The Stamp changes again approximately between 1911 to 1913 (But might be earlier and needs verification) The company stamp changes to Wm. Dowler & Sons Ltd ONLY on J. Hudson Whistles made for Dowler,
In this period J. Hudson & Co. Started manufacturing whistles for Dowler as well, ALL STAMPS OF WHISTLES MADE BY HUDSON for Dowler carry the POST 1911 -13 Stamp Wm. Dowler& Sons Ltd with Wm. before Dowler. Full stamp is: ‘Wm. Dowler & Sons Ltd. Graham St. Works Birmingham’. While De Courcy kept using the older stamp without Wm.
1911 was the earliest (So far) we found the new stamp, (Though a certain whistle is still in question),
J. Hudson & Co. started supplying Dowler with whistles stamped with combination of two stamps whistles made by Hudson shows the FORCE NAME OVAL STAMP CLOSER TO TOP and Dowler’s Ellipse stamp below closer to the windows and as said Wm before Dowler & Sons Ltd. THE STAMPS CAN BE USED TO IDENTIFY quickly which one made the whistle for Dowler and when by period. When adding to this a careful examination of the components of each whistle; TOP, CAP, LOOP, MOUTHPIECE, DIAPRAGM, PATENT DATE of each maker, we can date the whistles more accurately, at times by the exact year or two made.
Their name still appears on whistles made by J. Hudson & Co. up to the 1930s 40s. The business remains at the same address at least until after World War II, when they move 11 Brearley Street (11-15 Brearley) In 1969, they were bought and merged with Firmin & Sons, though they continue using their own address, stamps and name probably for tax purposes. In 1999 they still appear in the directory as located in Brearley Street. Today, they appear in the Internet as ‘W. Dowler & Sons Ltd’. In Photo; ‘Wm is added to the ELLIPSE stamp now ‘Wm Dowler & Sons Ltd. Graham St. Works Birmingham’.
Whistle TYPES made by Dowler & Sons
Whistle TYPES made by Dowler & Sons
Dowler Produced a large variety of whistles, here are the 5 main types, his main output was of Conical whistles and Two Note Tube (TNT – GSW) whistles. This is a more general preview to be continued in a more detailed review of each type as well as whistle parts, Retailers, Police Forces, and construction, – parts.
1) .CONICAL WHISTLES (or tapered Double notes as called at the time made mostly known to collectors as Beauforts) made by Dowler are of TWO MAIN TYPES: A & B T.N.C – Two notes conical whistles (Type A) & Single Notes (Type B)
TYPE A – TWO NOTES CONICAL – T.N.C
A being The Standard bubble top first manufactured by C. Parker.
a1 – Cast domed bubble top & cast M.P
a2 – Cast Domed bubble top top (Spherical Knop)
a3 – Smaller with tooth grip made for Worcester County Constabulary (W.C.C)
a4 – A Hybrid design with Cast Mouth Piece M.P and Crest Button top (Hiat Reg. Design No 225730 from 1894)
a5 – A smaller thin walls type late 3rd period made for Military with a unique stamp; W. Dowler & Sons Birmingham 1898 in straight lines.
TYPE B SINGLE NOTE CONICAL – S.N.C (See two examples in photo)
B) Short Single Note Conical whistle – SNC Two variations (THIS DESIGN Short first manufactured by C. Parker.) Type B – has a ‘BEAK’ TYPE M.P as in ROUND PEA WHISTLES & a Cast Fipple. (Some may refer to it as Round Tapered – Conical Whistle)
b1 Short CASED Single Note Conical Whistle with beak or without and a spring to its back. Traditionally used with British Army. (Includes Silver Hallmarked ones)
The whistles in photo are arranged more or less by their order of their first appearance in each type, Albeit in Type B preceded Type A in Time line. Type B appeared in the 18th century and with a cased version (Not Shown) late 18th century , type B 1 C. 1829 Note – There may well be a Type A with additional mouth piece, and type A with Ivory Mouthpiece (M.P) when available I will add.
a5 – A variation in Nickel plated brass, 1898 Military, unique stamp W. Dowler & Sons
2) TNT – Two note tube whistles (GSW – general service whistles by function) Including ones with Bulbous Porteous top, and many variations. of Mouthpieces and Tops, loops, and some with a single known example. William Dowler Produced his first TNT whistles in the 1860s, The first photo is of a J. Stevens & Son, Pre 1865 (See previous article about Stevens & Porteous whistles) TNT whistle on left & W. Dowler on right. Dowler made his earlier 1rst period model after Stevens & Porteous Models. Both of Dowler models of TNT one with Porteous Top (After Stevens Model # 27 ) and his two notes tube whistles were ‘Inspired’ or copied by Dowler.
Three small groups of William Dowler & Sons TNT Police whistles displaying few of the many dozens reviewed for an upcoming continuation, These include 4 periods in which Dowler & Sons made whistles on their own.
Left to right; H. A. Knox, Knoxall Police Call, made by W. Dowler, Early 1rst Period Dowler Porteous top TNT after J. Stevens and Son Model # 27, Early Dublin Police Bubble top TNT and crimp ring to Bubble and M.P
Other stamps & models are The International, Knoxall police Call, and some dated Military whistles, as well as retailers stamps.
3) Round Pea Whistles (Railway)
Two early 2nd period W. Dowler whistles for N.E.R, Left long neck acorn top type, center cast dome bubble top and on right a later one 3rd period by Dowler & Sons with Loop top and tooth grip.
4)Button Whistles, escargot type with Button Sides.
Left to right; Top left Bradford City Whistle, Bottom left a GPO General Post Office whistle, center a family crest, Griphon, right attributed to Dowler ‘Superior Quality’ Buttons made 1861 -65 by Dowler during American Civil War.
5)Double end Whistles.
Double end whistles (At times refered to as Composition whistle, Hybrid whistle & Torpedo whistle) made of a round pea whistle & a TNT, stamped Dowler & Sons Gt. Charles St. Birmingham (3rd Period).
1) I highly recommend reading Martyn Gilchrist & Simon Topmann book ‘Collecting Police Whistles and Similar Types’ Known to collectors as CPW book and published in 1998, and the book ‘More Whistles’ by Gilchrist, to those with serious interest in the history of whistles. I also recommend reading in other whistle blogs as ones of Whistlecollection, Whistlegallery, as well as whistleshopUK and worthpoint both have many of the Dowler whistles sold on eBay over the last decade. 2) While J. Stevens & Son produced THE FIRST design of the two note tube whistles (Porteous Design) Model #27 Pre 1865, Dowler was the first to produce his versions of similar ones with minute changes and supply these to police forces. As far as I know he was the 2nd to produce TNT whistles. 3) Regarding the Period Division, This is an on going research and the exact year & month at times are important so some periods may be ’rounded’ by one year earlier or later, either dew to cautiousness or luck of a valid proof, this is something I still work on refining. Some of the periods may change by a year at time depending on a certain month. I did my best going through hundreds of whistles and stamps If you do have you do have comments or photos which may help kindly send an email or join the Antique whistles Ancien Sifflets on Facebook. 4) The term Beaufort is used for many types of Conical Whistles, Two Notes Conical Whistles TNC, Nick Named Beauforts and known as Tapered Double Tone at their time. I separate two main types but the are more and named them THE TWO NOTES CONICAL – TNC. and the SINGLE NOTE CONICAL WHISTLE – SNC. 5) I was hoping to include many whistles, but as it evolved to many dozens of photos I postponed part III b which evolved to be a much larger task than expected, considering the time and my limited graphic skills.
Georgian Period Whistles, British made whistles in the Pre Victorian times were a theme I was interested in for over a decade, New antique whistles surface here and there and throw light on the development of ‘Professional’ Round whistles, time line and makers, of which little is known about. *
But these certainly give a new perspective to the term IRONMONGERS in the 17th 18th 19th century who were making whistles, and which later became more Brass Founders I believe.
Before I put many of the thoughts, comments & observations on these,
I share some of mine and others, Needless to say all very rare.
Starting with a Trio of Military whistles from my own collection,
most possibly by J. Dixon of Sheffield very early 1800, These include few amazing features for the whistle student and scholars who have a keen eye.
The sound is of each one is outstanding, (I am tempted to say the best I heard ) Interestingly the trio forms the sound of a triad chord,
I will edit and add comments later.(There is a LOT to be said and learn)
I first wrote Dowler’s history (AS whistle makers) in 2008
posted in Wikipedia and updated with more info whistle photos from my collection and articles updated later.*
It is updated and concise here as I omit much of the vast info and collected since. The Dowler Family were Brass manufacturers since the 18th Century established 1766 at 91 & 92 Gt. Charles Street Birmingham, later known as the Dowler’s Arm a small waterways on the Birmingham Fazeley Canal.
They may have earlier history as Brass founders. It is the author belief they also made whistles in their earlier years but this remains as an educated guess as of now.
The Essay is long and would be in Few Parts
Part 1 Brief History Part 2 George Dowler Part 3 William Dowler Manufacturing History, spun over 50 years, He is the DOWLER we know from his many whistles, Buttons, and Military ornaments. The 3rd part shall be the most detailed part concerning WHISTLES.
William Dowler was the first pioneer to supply Police forces in England with a Force name with Two Notes Conical (TNC) Type Whistles (Also Known as Beaufort ).
It is divided to few sub – parts, and 6 periods.
Dealing with various whistle types.
General note regarding time line.
Mary Dowler was a dominant figure in the early part of the 19th century
Her sons George and William kept the business, 1816 Directory Clip.
In the 1840s George Dowler was running a successful manufacturing career being an inventor and maker of numerous brass goods.
In 1853 William Dowler opened his independent work shop in partnership with Charles Parker (D. 1852) daughter Marry Hanna Parker, in 42 Cherry St. Birmingham.
I shall start with George for a short paragraph since we can not identify the whistles he made at this point (One is identified), and then discuss William Dowler (Later & Sons) who is the one associated with whistle manufacturing among collectors.
General Early History
Dowler firm was established in 1776 in Birmingham. we know this from George Dowler advertisements by Thomas Dowler, There are various brass founders named Thomas Dowler at the 2nd part of 18th century and since it was common to name the son after the father at times for few generations it is difficult to establish the accurate history so I leave this complex Geneaology research at this point.Thomas Dowler I 1752 -1805
Mary Dowler 1755 – 1825 Had 7 Children : Thomas Dowler II 1777 1852 Joseph Dowler 1779 1837 William Calley Dowler (The 1st) B. 1782 D. 1825
George Augustus Dowler 1781 1827 Sara Dowler 1826 – 1868
Mary Ann Dowler 1785 1851 Ann Robbins Dowler 1787 1868 Thomas Dowler (Son ) 1877 1852
Joseph Dowler 1779 1837 & Hanna Sadbury Dowler 1780 1866 Were the parents of the two famous whistle makers : William Colley Dowler 1813 – 1888 George Dowler 1824 – 1901
William Colley Married Hanna Dowler (in 1850 ) their children Arthur P. Dowler (B 1860) A Button Manufacturer Thomas William Dowler A Jeweler & Button Manufacturer
Austall Edwin Dowler (B 1850)
The first two were the ones who joined the buisiness in 1866 (Dowler & Sons)
Thomas & Mary Dowler were the dominant figures in the early part of the 19th century, The family history is complex & perplexing, Listed as early as 1815 as
Mary Dowler & Sons and as Thomas Dowler both at Great Charles St. where the family business had been since the 18th Century, The address would be the main address for well over 100 years up to 1900. George and William kept the business, 1815 Directory Clip Management of the Great Charles Street foundry passed down to Thomas Dowler who remained unmarried. He lived in the house attached to the foundry with three spinster sisters, Ann, Mary Ann and Sarah.
George Dowler was a nephew who took over running the firm when Thomas
Dowler II died.
George added other trades to that of brass foundry In 1830 we see Thomas Listed as Medalist and Manufacturer of plated Knives, Forks, Spoons, Nutcrackers, Skewers, Etc. Etc. Bell Founder, Fire Iron Maker, Brass and Princes metal candlestick maker, 91 Gt. Charles St. M (Marry) Dowler & Son, Great Charles Street, Birmingham,
candlestick maker. (Commercial Directory 1816-17) Thomas Dowler, 91, Great Charles Street, Birmingham, brass fire furnishers and manufacturers. (Wrightson directory 1835)
In the later 1840s George Dowler, was running a successful manufacturing career being an inventor and maker of numerous brass goods, while his older brother William Dowler was distributing the family merchandise living in Soho Hill listed as a Traveler (1952)
In 1853 there is a ‘fork’ in the road and it became two different companies, Making some parallel goods, we shall start with George for a short paragraph and then discuss William Dowler.
The next 3 quotes are from a long article about DOWLER’s ARM found in 2006 upon a visit to the Birmingham Library, It was later available in full on the web.
“The increasing requirement for brass as a component in cartridges for the new breech loading rifles and bullets for handguns encouraged Dowler to also make chassepot cartridges. He also had cartridge-filling sheds at Tyburn, also near the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.
George Dowler came to live at Knowle with his surviving aunt, Ann Robbins Dowler, who was the effective owner of the Great Charles Street Brass Foundry. The vesta match was made by dipping wax taper in a phosphorus-rich mixture. It was an occupation that depended principally on the employment of young people and children and their prolonged exposure to the “white” phosphorus in the compound led to many being inflicted with the “Phosphorus Disease”. This horrible disease led to disfigurement and premature death. Dowler’s Arm & Plume St. William Dowler, military ornament and button maker of Birmingham, challenged George for control of the estate. In a rare instance two probates were proved independently by George and William. Ann Dowler had made several changes (codicils) to her will and in the final form William had joined George as executors of Ann’s estate. The dispute developed and in the Court of Chancery, the Great Charles Street Brass Foundry was offered for sale. It was a dispute that rumbled on through 1868 and 1869 to 1871 when William Dowler brought further actions and the matter was not finally settled until 1876.”
In 1858 William is listed Solo on 42 Cherry St as a Railway Whistle Maker.
================== PART 2
George Dowler 1824 – 1901
George Dowler was one of the largest manufacturers of Brass goods in Birmingham, Making Matchsticks and numerous Brass Goods from 1840s when he took over Thomas Dowler the son, He was the Brother of William Dowler who became one of the 4 large whistle makers in England up to the mid 1880s.
In his 20s he was running the business up to March 19, 1870, when his huge factory in Aston, employing over 500 man burnt to the ground. He also was an inventor and amateur musician. I will bring few important events in his life and few examples hopefully there will be more whistles found.
In 1876 he emigrated with his wife & sons to Ontario Canada to become a farmer
& died there at the age of 77.
A speaking tube whistle with indicator made by George Dowler c. 1840s 50s, ,
a similar one without indicator was made as well, it is not a stamped one but identified by the top which is similar to his Nocturnal vesta patent of 1850.
Albeit this is the only one yet identified we know he made many types of whistles in the 50s and 60s, Including French Calls (Cast Base Metal or ? ),
Railway Guard Whistles (TNC two note conical later nick named Beaufort) &
Dog Calls (Which were round & pea whistles),
These types were advertised by him but I was not yet able to find any identifying features or stamps by which we can positively identify his whistles.
It is likely he made button whistles as well, if some will be found, they can be identified by his stamp on buttons, DOWLER BRIMINGHAM, (William his Brother stamped his as ‘W. Dowler’ and other particular stamps in various periods, see stamps in part III).
Another view with SCREW TOP taken apart.
I am convinced that Thomas Dowler made whistles earlier as well and George kept making whistles but Thomas making whistles is not supported by any finds.
Advertisement 1858 Includes French Calls.
Few important dates for George Dowler
1850 Night serenade registered design.
1852 Crystal Palace Exhibition
1856 adv. upon purchasing Allen & Moore (See Photo)
and note making FRENCH CALLS whistles among many other things.
1861 George Dowler is flourishing and one of only 20 Birmingham manufacturers to employs over 500 workers.
1862 International World Fair. (See photo & paper review)
1862 A major fire on July 10 at Great Charles Street.
1868 Death of his aunt which starts legal fights with his brother William
1870 Fatal fire which destroys his factory.
1876 End of court case about the inheritance which leaves 94 Gt Charles st and other assets with his older brother William.
1876 George Dowler immigrates, with his wife & Children, to Canada to become a farmer.
A photo from the exhibition of 1862 and a following newspaper review June 17, 1862.
Birmingham Daily PostTuesday, June 17, newspaper clip including a review of George Dowler display including Carriage & Door alarms, railway guards & dog whistles as well as the mentioned French whistles.
In 1862 the brothers were running two different factories and making different
goods but some were parallel, as we can see from this 1862 adv. in a directory.
1862 Fire at Great Charles Street, on 10 July, 1862, A Birmingham newspaper,
part of a long paragraph about a Fire in 91 Great Charles st. In the 1860s G. Dowler was manufacturing ammunition as well and having an office in London, Here is a 1868 Cartridge Shells box.
1870, 19th, March, THE BIG FIRE from a Birmingham newspaper
(The Illustrated Midland News).
More quotes from reading at the library;
Legal Matters Following Ann Robbins Dowler death in 1868. In 1868 a series of legal disputes with his brother William over the inheritance of the Dowler works started and carried up to 1876. George Dowler Works, – William Dowler, military ornament and button maker of Birmingham, challenged George for control of the estate. In a rare instance two probates were proved independently by George and William.
Ann Dowler had made several changes (codicils) to her will and in the final form William had joined George as executors of Ann’s estate. The dispute developed and in the Court of Chancery, the Great Charles Street Brass Foundry was offered for sale. It was a dispute that rumbled on through 1868 and 1869 to 1871 when William Dowler brought further actions and the matter was not finally settled until 1876.
George Dowler works were the largest firm producing phosphorus matchsticks, this along with making ammunition was fatal when the fatal fire destroyed Dowler Works, known as Plume works, in Aston, 90 & 91 Gt Charles St. Birmingham.
William Dowler continued the button making business in Birmingham, whilst Cannot & Vallance acquired the Plume Works and the Tyburn Cartridge sheds.
Gustavus Augustus Cannot was also in partnership in London with a Mr Bravington. Cartridge making was continued from 1871 through to 1872, but then ceased.
Cannot then sought to sell off the Plume Works. Various problems delayed the sale until 1876, when the Plume works was finally sold to Greenway, Clive & Vale of the Peoples Hall Works in Princip Street who converted the premises to a lock and hinge factory.
1871 Suspension note of GEORGE DOWLER PlumeWorks;
The first half of the 1870s was clouded by legal fights over Ann Robbins Dowler will .
It ended in favour of William Dowler and following that in 1876 George left to Canada to become a farmer.
Here is an anecdote from a newspaper clip (shared with us by P. Owen)
that will serve us as pivot point to depart from George Dowler who actually emigrated to Ontario Canada to become a farmer, in the same year as this event took place 1876, and switch to the history of his Brother William, In PART 3.
.”Nice story of William and George Dowler. They were visiting Pershore in Worcestershire when they came across some wandering minstrels. They performed a song, for which they were paid 5d. (That was a lot). George asked if he could play on their piano (which must have been a fairly small portable one). He started playing but commented on the poor quality of it. One of the minstrels took exception and a big fight broke out. Punches were thrown at William and George ended up in a ditch with the end of his finger nearly severed. George emigrated later that year (1876)] ”
* The article I wrote 2008, 2009 and posted in the Wikipedia was erased and found its way with few other articles copied from there and from this blog to a book about whistle makers in England sold on Amazon by an anonymous writer. That is I guess the nature of the internet, when it is not a hard copy book.]
Two important American whistles long searched for by whistle collectors
were found April 2019.
Alexander P Hatch Patents were thought as none existing, since none were seen and the patents applied for stated no model examples.
As to rarity we know of another Plural whistle I discovered with a long time U.S.A collector in 2016, The Police one is the only example I know of.
I imagine there are more to be discovered and there is a good chance that the more fancy variation with few combined whistles as seen on the same patent of the plural whistle is somewhere out there… (so it is with the British Plural one that I posted the patent for last year, no actual example ever seen – it is from the same period)
keep your eyes open it is a treasure probably worth well over a 1000, hopefully with more exposure to the ones that just surfaced more will show up in the future.
It is a pity that there is no information about this inventor who was a citizen of Bridgeport Connecticut at the time, I am sure an extensive research can reveal much more as to his life, Albeit the fact that his whistle patents are among the most cited by whistle inventors, dozens of newly patented whistles since then quote his patents, including 21st century ones.
Alexander P. Hatch American Whistle patents App. for 1899 & 1901
Both are made of Nickel Plated Brass.
I highly recommend reading carefully the patents description & drawings in the next links.
The one on left side is know as the plural whistle and you may see the patent drawings and description HERE at google patent storage
It was found with the original chain in an old bicycle store, in mint condition.
The whistle on the right a tube whistle with unique design and partition is stamped
POLICE DEPARTMENT and has patent date as well see google patents HERE All rights reseved to A. Strauss Whistle museum
we are glad to help with any questions regarding whistles,
please attach photos to questions, Email: email@example.com
A Round Pea Whistle, dating c. 18th century to early 19th century,
An outstanding example of a design using various geometrical elements
forming a uniquely sculpted design.
From the country were Stradivariusmade his violins in the 17th & 18th Cent.
These whistles were registered by ACME WHISTLES,
J. Hudson & Co. Birmingham in 1911 They are similar to button whistles in having an emblem embossed on cap, and are all made of nickel plated Brass.
In the photo, top to bottom: Tudor Rose, Shamrock, Rose, & Thistle
It is the first addition of Acme Whistle 3 registered designs with emblems embossed on caps.
Reg. design #578510 Model # 616
Reg. design #577844 Model # 617
The Rose Reg. design # 576579 Model # 618
The Tudor Rose at the top is smaller, has a shorter Cap & beak, very rare, Martyn Gilchrist the great whistle scholar, wrote in his book
More Whistles (2005) Pg. 11, That ‘it was lodged but it is believed none were ever produced’. Mean while I discovered two variations so it was produced but probably in a VERY LIMITED one time edition each time.
It has only two known versions one with P. 608282/ 12 on side cap and one without embossed number.
All of the first edition bubble tops of this series are rare, some stamps & emblems are rarer.Excerpt from Acme Whistles Catalogue showing the 3 models.
The Symbols (From Wikipedia)
A shamrock is a young sprig, used as a symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity.
The thistle has been the national emblem of Scotland since the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286) and was used on silver coins issued by James III in 1470. It is the symbol of the Order of the Thistle, a high chivalric order of Scotland.
The white of York and the red of Lancaster are joined together to make The Tudor rose, marking the union of the two houses and the beginning of a Tudor reign. The Tudor rose was used as a symbol of peace and today it is used as the symbol of England, just as Scotland uses a thistle,
Wales a leek and Ireland a shamrock.
THE MANY VARIATIONS
These Registered designs were unique to Acme whistles (see exception* ) and were popular for at least 25 years ahead in different additions and variations. Without going into all the details I will mention that there are dozens of variations, and in GENERAL they vary at 3 main features :
THE TOPS 4 TYPES
1) Bubble top
2) Humpback Tops
3) Humpback with Groove (Implied to whistle by wiring technique)
4) Flying V top (See photos below)
All the three show with these variation:
Early with reg. design number embossed on cap
Later no number NO number embossed to cap
Number embossed to cap at one side
The Tudor Rose Early with 1912 Patent stamp on cap
with or without number (Only on Tudor Rose,*)
The Acme Registered,
The Acme Registered with arched emblem name ( Rose, Shamrock, Thistle)
The Acme Registered and England above the Tooth grip.
No Stamp at all
There may be one having both the emblem name and England, I had not seen one yet.
Dating the variations between 1911 to C. late 1930s I believe, is not an easy task,
but one can rely on the various Tops & Stamps.
The price of whistles in these
whistles varies a lot and the earlier bubble tops first edition is over 100 USD if to judge by the last ones observed on eBay.
NOTE that a whistle can find a Whistle with a BUBBLE TOP and any of the Caps & Stamp variations which more than triples the variations.
Here is the Tudor rose on left (One or two known**)
and on the center and right BOTH ARE Shamrock with two different stamp variations. So a full set of three Bubble tops
1) Numbered on side / the name of the emblem at front /
2) Another set : Bubble tops / no number on side / and the name of emblem on front / ETC. There are at least 5 variations of a FULL Trio Bubble tops set
A complete early edition would have 15 whistles 5 sets of three bubble tops
(as in Postage stamps )/ and that does not include the tudor roses,
and and there are still 3 other style tops (None bubble series)
The Tudor Rose Close
Here one may see number P-608282 -12
1912 Patent 608282 on cap and England above tooth grip Observed only on the Tudor rose
Closeup on a Thistle Bubble top and Number on side cap
Flying V Top J. Hudson & Co. Patent # 214519 / 1924 Made 1924 onward
Reg. Numbered design embossed on side cap is an earlier 1920s versionExample of a later edition 1930s with Shamrock emblem,
no emblem name on stamp, no number on cap and
HUMPBACK Top(Hamp top).
Full set of POST 1924 series but still NOTE STAMP VARIATIONS ON FRONT
reflecting period variations 1920s 1930s
While writing I encountered the next whistle which was made earlier has a button like domed sides and has the same feature as the 1911 ones, the Feature of “Folded Beak” construction with a seam which can be seen in the middle of the underside. It was used by Acme since 1894, (Dixon used it as well at the same time including domed sides, one example found in 2018)
The whistle came in 3 sizes see catalogue excerpt below, here is the smaller one model number 61 and 1/2
It has a brass salesman tag with model number, and it is an earlier one since later they used Aluminum tags.
This type was made by Hudson & Co. Acme Whistles Ltd. up to the 1970s.
Catalogue excerpt showing the 3 domed sides lite construction snail whistles
These models were later developed and in the 1930s had 4 sizes
(061 & 1/2 size added ) and another ACME LOGO embossed emblem of THE ACME logo replace the plain domed sides.
Very nice whistles and again many variations, see catalogue for 4 sizes starting
with the same 66 & 1/2 Model as the smaller but now with The Acme Logo side.
Made in 4 Sizes 1930 Catalogue
There are few more themes of embossed sides button style snail whistles by ACME WHISTLES LTD. ( J. Hudson & Co. ) of which the dog head is the most famous but I will discuss this at some other time.
In 2005 I discovered a previously unknown similar Button style whistle with bubble top made by Alfred De Courcy, It was identified with the help of Mr. Gilchrist by the unique ‘beak’ – mouthpiece, construction which has the seam of the beak only at one side, Later on few more appeared and I realized they had few variations as well starting c. 1910s, all pre 1927 and made for the U.S.A market.
** A similar one, the Tudor Rose in silver not stamped Acme and with a wire loop
top was observed and more common, I had nor examined it carefully yet.All rights for photos and article reserved to the author. Contact info – firstname.lastname@example.org
Whistles used as Bird Calls are a huge category,
Many of the hand operated type whistles vs. Mouth whistles use a Bellow,
There are few types of Bellows. This time I will review few pedal shape bellows
made of wood & leather. The operation is by hand & the term is used because of the shape albeit I think these could be played by the foot as well.
Here are few examples of Antique Bird Calls – Whistles, 19th century to early 1900, certainly a seldom met with type.
The French and European Continent Bird Calls & are very different than the American ones, and of the far east ones.
These I believed to be folk art work of rural hunters; Tin whistle combining a mechanical element, a Bellow – Pedal shaped Bellow & Whistle, but found out some stamped bellows.
I had looked through many catalogs of bird calls – whistle manufacturers from mid 19th Century onward and had never seen one in a catalogue.
There are four different calls here all from France & Neighbouring countries (Belgium) , I would be glad to see more if the reader happens to have.
Next is one taken apart, the Tin whistle incorporating a button type whistle can be used inhaling or exhaling it seems that when attached to the Bellow it works by pressing the bellow and it omits a sound when released, but short lite press and release movements produce both sounds.
The calls are made of various materials including a Tin Whistle , Leather, wood, steel spring & iron nails.
Samuel Auld started making whistles in the earlier part of the 1870s, after Joining Westwood (See another article about a previously unknown maker J. Westwood which I found) Auld partnership with Westwood at Globe Brass foundry 248 Gallowgate st. (Both were the sole partners dissolved on July 20 1877 and announced legally 31 October 1877.