History and Timeline of ‘William Dowler & Sons’ Whistle, Button & Military Ornaments Manufacturers. In 6 Parts.
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.
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)
Dixon & Sons Round Britannia Metal Whistles & Model #49.
James Dixon started making Britannia Metal (Invented c.1770) whistles Before 1850, Here is a group photo of 16 round pea britannia metal whistles,
11 of which were positively identified as made by Dixon & Sons, two were later found in a German (Marked as such).
Some marked X still need a second close examination dew to newly discovered catalogues by other makers.
James Dixon & Sons Round Brass & German Silver Round Whistles (Part I.d.)
After the First Early period 1800 to 1835 and later up to 1865 which was reviewed here with early examples I move forward to look at some more German Nickel or Nickel Silver & Brass whistles, not it in chronological order.
Cracking the general early date code of whistles in the article about Stevens & Sons was a Benchmark, which enabled a clearer view of another giant whistle maker – Dixon & Sons. At the top a whistle which had been made by James Dixon the founder himself. (See next Paragraph).
John. M. Westwood * whistle maker b.1856 – d. 1886
His family (James Westwood His Dad) seems to have come from New York with his other brothers, all in the brass foundry business (His brothers in the trade James, Robert, Alexander ) & a relative named Andrews who shows up later as working with him).
John opened his own business in 1872 as Tinsmith and Gas Fitter at 73 Cumberland St. Calton, Glasgow . Excerpt from 1973 Directory.Westwood made a whistle which later became the model identified with S. Auld whistles. Continue reading John Westwood The first Glasgow Whistle Maker & Samuel Auld Whistles Breaking News ! A. Strauss
Jul. Heinr. Zimmerman, Important German Whistle Manufacturer, Maker, History & Samples by A. Strauss, Catalog Pages ( (Under Construction)
Julius Heinrich Zimmermann, Born 22. September 1851 in Sternberg
Died 25. April 1922 in Berlin (1851-1923) was a large musical instruments maker , publisher, and whistle maker, his family kept his business running but at some point (C. 1928 )they had abandoned whistle and musical instrument manufacturing ׂׂׂׂ in favor of music publishing.
A picture of his workshop circa 1899 , on the shelves on the right hand side one may see a variety of whistles.