History and Timeline of ‘William Dowler & Sons’ Whistle, Button & Military Ornaments Manufacturers. In 6 Parts.
Continue reading William Dowler & Sons Whistle Manufacturer History and Timeline A. Strauss
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.
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)
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.
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
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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 Stradivarius made his violins in the 17th & 18th Cent.
Materials: Gun Metal (a type of bronze – an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc )
& painted extra hard wood.
L: 69 mm Continue reading A Military Round Pea Whistle 18th to Early 19th Century Design Masterpiece. A. Strauss
Acme Whistles Registered 1911 Emblem Snail Whistles & Variations, Button Style with Embossed emblem Sides.
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.
Reg. design # 576579 Model # 618
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)
Closeup on a Thistle Bubble top and Number on side cap
Another previously unknown earlier variation of a Bubble Top Shamrock
surfaced October 21. Found not far from Birmingham.
Probably an earlier pre patent experimental modelora.
Here on right hand is the Beak front view. for comparison.
A close inspection of construction reveals the DISTINCT Toothgrip location right at the openning of the beak upper lip, as in the 131 Barr St. I had the luck to discover in 2006, a previously unknown one, which was a major find in research & study of Hudson’s escargots timeline. since then few more 131 Barr St. variations were found.
The bubble top at the top one is of older type. (Does remind of Black & Co.)
With a very short ‘neck’ under bubble and wide base.
So we can conclude that this is an earlier variation, Pre 1911.
Multy view of a ‘named’ stamped Shamrock on beak.
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).
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.
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.
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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.
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.
In 1877 Auld started his own Company on the same street (no. 240 later he would own and work from both 240 and 248) by 1878 he was listed as a well known Continue reading Samuel Auld The Greatest Glasgow Whistle Maker. A. Strauss
American Bosun Pipes, Bosun Whistles, and More. A.Strauss
Some of you may remember that the old whistle museum website was lost, later I was able to save many posts from there using the Time machine web archive. I started copying some of the 500 posts the photos may not be as good as the original ones and will now have a double ‘whistle museum’ stamp but will suffice. This post was one of many dealing with the subject of Bosun whistles, I will spontaneously bring more while I keep researching and studying. A.S
American Gold Bosun Whistle, 1853 Gold Dollars sides 128mm 29gr,
Cylindrical sound chamber, Spiral wire at Keel end, 2 Filigree bands and mouthpiece, serpentine gun.
A drawer – Cabinet with few dozens of Boatswain’s pipes – Buson whistles.
The second from top right hand side is a 140mm old uncleaned silver, I was told by experts that it is from 1820 but it it seems to me as a very early estimate.
The design was certainly a USA style 19th century design since in early 20th century German catalogs of German makers, the same model appears for export as USA style Boatswains pipe.
The Model is marked “STERLING” .
A similar in weight , measures, design and size model stamped
AE & Co. Utica N.Y
In a Triangular stamp
with Plain & almost straight gun
L: 140mm Weight: 24gr
It may be of a later date but I did not take the time to research that company yet.
This model also in nickel plated brass became the standard for the U.S. Navy, seldom stamped with the marine vessel’s name.
The fourth from bottom right hand side is stamped , on one side :
U.S.A Pattern (Note the word pattern uses different punches for letters ).
Dated 1936 L.C.H
US CGC Hamilton WHEC-715 and US COAST GUARD
on the other.
It is also stamped under the Keel’s frame LORDSHIP N.Y in between two tiny stamps inside rectangles which are too small to decipher.
LORDSHIP N.Y , They used HLP as their hallmark while their corporate name was “His Lordships Products” until about 1973, they then changed their name to “Lordship Industries” and their hallmark to LI.
The next one is a nicely designed whistle made circa late 1990s early 2000’s as a souvenir often sold in a wood box inlaid with brass anchor.
When I first saw it it was 2004 and was tempted to pay few times more then it’s worth,
It is sold in souvenir shops in many port cities, along the eastern and western coast.
I consider it as an American one since I had not seen it sold anywhere else but it may be made in china or the far east .
To Be cont. Meanwhile I would like to add that looking at my whistles I found very few American Shaped ones and all together there must be many thousands of ones stamped with a SHIP’s name and US navy ones , so if any of my readers can send photos of some (will be credited) it would be appreciated.
In the meantime I realized that it could be categorized by shapes that can be easily identified and I shall bring DRAWINGS of the typical ones.
Few countries have their own typical design that can be recognized in a glance mostly by looking at the Keel – body.
Russian bosun pipe shape
American Bosun type shape
German Bosun type shape
French Bosun type shape
British bosun type shapes
Chinese Buson shapes and unique features (I did a short post about some here in the past)
Whistle Museum, A.Strauss All rights reserved.
Posted by WHISTLE MUSEUM at 3/1/2014 8:38 AM
Categories: By Function:Marine Naval, By Continent or Country:American, A Longer Article, By Material:Metal & Brass:Silver & Gold
Tags: ship Boatswain pipe Boatswain’s call Bosun
Police Button Whistles from the Victorian area. A.Strauss
The next police whistles include the majority of known Police Button whistles which were found, some are not included either because of poor condition or since I did not keep Pictures of. Now as I start to carefully compare button whistle construction and button makers I am making progress in identifying makers, after years of research soon to be more.