Stevens & Sons History of the Whistle Maker & His Whistles Part A. A. Strauss

Stevens &­­­­ Sons Whistles & History.   Avner Strauss

Part A        (Underconstruction)
General History, Addresses, Richard Porteous importance and inventions, Railway and more adv.  Stamps time line and a glimpse at few whistle example
from many more to be discussed in more details in part B , C, & D , as interlude.

Whistles
Part B – Tube whistles SNT & TNT
The First Two Notes Tube Whistle,
The first SNT (Single Note Tube) with two windows ,
The Invention of the Partition, & TNT (Two Note Tube) Stevens & Sons
Part C – Dating Stevens & Sons Whistles, Dating Stevens’s Whistles,
Round Whistles & others, retailers & Much more.
Part D – Bell Whistles and the discovery of the inventor

 

John Stevens  1779 – 1861
James John Stevens 1807-1881
James Stevens Jr.  1840 –1911
Warwick Alan Stevens  1842– 1924
Richard Porteous  1802-1881

Company History 
John Stevens was Born in Birmingham 1779 and came to London to start his Business in the early 1800s, He started as a maker and supplier of agricultural
Implement maker,  supplying the army with Shovels & pick axe handles,
during the Napoleonic wars. Soon after the wars he moved into Gas pipes making supplies and engineering, and into Railway supplies which was a fast growing business which he got into influenced by his wife’s Brother who was an agent for railway supplies.
In the 1820s, 1830s he was mentioned as having connection to George  Stephenson . ( Inventor of the Locomotive, the miner lamp and “Father of the Railway”)
The company grew fast with his son James John Stevens joining and expanding the firm taking part in the Great exhibition of 1851 and 1861 so in the pre Glasgow branch (1865) they already had close to 70 employees while the new SIGNAL WORK kept growing after his father the founder John Stevens died (1861)
James moved with his family to Glasgow in the 1860’s.

Stevens & Sons c. 1865 James John Stevens age 58, and two sons James Stevens Jr.age 25 & Warwick Alan Stevens age 23. [other sons which seemed to be less involved in the family business are Leicester Bradney Stevens 1851-1914 and Stafford Evan Stevens 1845 – 1866 who died at the age of 21 are not in photo]

John Stevens Tombstone * at Norwood grave 3817, square 47
(d. December 4 1861 )
other burials at
the grave are
James John Stevens ,
Caroline Matilda Stevens
(d .19th Nov 1871),
Anna Maria Stevens
(d. 26June 1858 )
and Stafford Evan Stevens
(d.12 March1866 )

 

 

General note and observation with some reservation: At the time period, there were no whistle makers per se but rather brass founders iron mongers and Arm makers, Kitchen ware manufacturers Button makers and other goods, who made whistles as a “side line”, Today whistle collectors and scholars relate to some as Whistle Makers. This article here concentrates on the general Company History and whistles made or attributed to Stevens & Sons and less in many other aspects ( There are many details ) of the family Biography.
See my article about 19th century Whistle Makers.
It is also important to understand that as manufacturers and factory owners had rarely a shop of their own and were dependent on orders from retailers, contractors and companies, this explains that rarely an actual manufacturer name is stamped and many times a stamp of the retailers,
companies or inventor appears.

Stevens & Son, were one of the 3 great whistle makers up to 1860s.
And by the 1840’s were manufacturers of mostly Railway related goods:
The railway Times Magazine Vol. II 1839 Adv. by Stevens & Son
We can Learn about the diversity of products and projects Stevens & son were manufacturing in 1839 : GAS-ENGINEERS, OBELISK, Black Friars road :
Gas works for railways, manufactories, Cast Iron tanks, Liquer backs, Steam Boilers, cast main pipes for gas, steam or water, improved coke ovens, drying stores, and steam Kilns for grain constructed and erected in any part of England. Wrought- iron tubes and gas fittings of all kinds, brass and gun metal castings, Chemical apparatus, Experimental machinery, etc. etc. Plans & estimates for the above.
One may note which of the above relates to whistles.

From huge iron constructions to Railway Signals and smaller Scales, Hand Lamps and of cource whistles which were not mentenioned in advertisments. Below you can see part of a Scale made at Darlington works and a Hand Lamp made by Stevens in the 1840s .

Here is a historic whistle, heavy gun metal made of one rod and a screw mouthpiece, early whistle before size and weigh were reduced designed by Porteous and made by Stevens C. 1920s, 1830s. A previously unknown whistle found 2015 which employs the first known compound round Mouthpiece .
Part C has a lot more on this whistle and many more.

 

Continue reading Stevens & Sons History of the Whistle Maker & His Whistles Part A. A. Strauss

John M. Westwood The first Glasgow Whistle Maker & Samuel Auld Whistles Breaking News ! A. Strauss

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 & Andrews show up later some as Andrews were probably 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 whistle which later became the model identified with S. Auld whistles.
Continue reading John M. Westwood The first Glasgow Whistle Maker & Samuel Auld Whistles Breaking News ! A. Strauss

Slide whistle, J. Stevens & Son Model # 36 Glasgow, nineteenth Century ,England

Stevens & Sons  Glasgow and London , see British Whistle Manufacturer History ,  The whistle was Probably made around 1850’s and designed by Richard Porteous. It is marked a Model # 36 on the body.
( August 5,  1802 – Jan. 3, 1881)
Closed position stevens's slide model 36It is a  brilliant  design since while other slide whistles of the period 1840’s and 1850’s had a sliding rod which could be moved in and out inside to determin the pitch , this design has the cap top around the body and the sliding part is out side the whistle’s body.

Open position & back sidestevens model 36 whistle backside

The Three partsstevens model 36 whistle 3 parts

Certainly a  very innovative tricky design, of a Slide whistle, unlike most slide whistles it has a smaller register within a range of a 5th, not a full octave. C – G notes.  the picture above shows its unassembled 3 parts.
The shorter part has a fillet and longer one a flare outward , so once the longer part (middle of  picture) slides into the shorter part which is just a bit wider  and comes to a stop at the flare, then the loop – knop top screws on top and the and by pulling the knop the slide works making the whistle shorter or longer.
The top part is cast and milled and has a screw thread on the inner part, all made of one piece.
All in all very rare and extremely well made whistle.
Made of German silver.

Whistle museum, and whistlepedia A.Strauss All rights reserved, No part of this web page is to be used without a written permission from the author.

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American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A (Part 1, At work)

whistlemuseum
American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A

  Hello friends and collector and whistle enthusiasts
I will slowly bring some old articles that lost parts and pictures ( the original article had over 60 Photos )
and try and bring nw ones as well as time permits .
You are welcome to joine the Antique whistle group on Face book as well .
Cheers

A.Strauss   Copyright 2009                                                 (Part 1, At work) * Since the article was written 2008 many new facts catalogs and whistles were found and some are still waiting to be discovered. Hopefully I will find time to update.
And find pictures that were lost.

Intro

American escargot whistles are a wide new subject
the internet is very much alive and flexible and
I work , study  write and add pictures and notes at my own pace.
If you are a frequent visitor you may have noticed that I add,
change and improve old entries when ever I have time,
or  when gaining new pictures or insights.

As much as I had tried to study the subject, there is still a lot more which I do not know,
since there is very little documentation of these.

Unlike  british made escargots which can be identified with time and maker,
one finds that there is no information  when it comes to American whistles and makers.

Since the subject is one of wide scope, implies hundreds of different samples and there are no prior  studies  to rely upon,
I will arrange and add information slowly as time permits.
Meanwhile I hope the visitors  of this pages will enjoy the pictures.

I have used some found in the whistle museum picture archive
found on different web sites or sent to me by other collectors.
Of cource any additional information or questions are welcome.

* I will concentrate on “Bubble top” escargots , or spherical knop as some collectors call it,
[ An entry was devoted not long ago to Winchester whistles and other American made bubble top escargots with the unique construction with interlocking  sides & teeth or   “flaps’  ] ,
Deal with some other interesting variations,  may be at another entry deal with others,.

In general U.S.A made whistles from 1900 to 1950 are mostly of the Glasgow type escargots either with Bubble top , or with Hump back cap, or Flat loop  and have a simmilar size and construction.

A List of over 50 Body stamps found on U.S.A made Bubble top escargot whistles,
or whistles used in the U.S.A would be added .
There are many more stamps on other escargot types. Sporting Goods companies, Rail Road whistles, Military – Army whistles,  Police, Arms companies and more.

German made whistles that were intended mostly for the U.S.A. market at the period of 1900 to 1930’s and are to be found only in the U.S.A  deserve a special entry.

Other commonly used whistles were made by J.Hudson, “The acme Thunderer ” and other types, many of which were ordered by American companies and many carrying their logos. These would be treated in another entry since they differ from the common Hudson whistles only in Body stamps.
Some of the American Makers of these are ; B.G.I, Horstmann, B & R , Gotham metal works, Colsoff, Wilson, North Brothers and others, many makers  are  unidentified as of now.

Inspection of small details, can be very rewarding when trying to know more about these whistles , The cap, The Tooth grips, the window, the pea, the general construction, the tongue type,  no tongue, the shape of the beak- mouthpiece, the size , color & patina,
Each one of these is important when studying whistles.

Unstamped American whistle

A_Strauss_on_American_whistles,_Antique_whistles,ESC_USA_Brass_Ball_Bubble_whistle museum_

Continue reading American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A (Part 1, At work)