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

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 .

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.


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_

Untitled 1

This Flat head bubble top on a distinct waste shaped stem on an escargot whistle was advertised during WWI By ARMY & NAVY STORE INC. N.Y. as ” THUNDERER ( PLATOON)”  model. It was manufactured in France by a Paris Based company.

“IVOR JOHNSON , POLICE, SPORTING GOODS CO. “Ivor_Johnson_sporting goods co Police_whistle_museum

The right one is a rare bubble top with no stem escargot, stamped Frankfort U.S.A.  it has a unique cut window design.
on the left a police Special , Both made early 1910’s -20s The same rare top apears on a small tappered beak london type by Frankfort U.S.A.
Rare_whistles,_whistle_museum,_American_whistle,bubble_top_frankfort_usa.- whistle_ museumjpg

Winchester whistles.

An entry was devoted not long ago to Winchester whistles and other American made bubble top
escargots with the unique construction using interlocking teeth or  “flaps” .

Above a Those  E.Wilson one and a Goldsmith’s pre numbered model.

Gotham Metal works. Brooklin , N.Y. U.S.A , the Famous boy scout escargot with a “tear drop” in logo late 1920’s. Gotham made other whistles as well.
Gotham Metal Works, 46 Walworth St. Brooklyn , N.Y Price at 1930’s was 35 Cent.
Gotham was the Major manufacturer of whistles for many sporting goods companies.

“The Chief , Signal police, made in U.S.A”  VHTF . one of the finest american made escargot whistles.
with a fancy stamp. whistle_museum,_Rare_American_whistle,The_Chief_Escar__Signal_one_of_the_finest_US_made

RK, K reveresed logo and bird, RK were also making punches for makers of a variety of items.  S.D.& G N.Y were suppliers .
There is also a variation without their initials.
A_Strauss_Collec_American_whistle,Esc___S_D_&_G_ whistle museum

Alpha Traffic C.D.R.-N.Y” C.D.REESE 57 WARREN ST. NEW YORK was one of the largest Police and Fire equipment supplier early 20th Cent. this whistle is 1910’s. Here is an excerpt from a catalog.


1923 C.D Reese Catalog page showing the “Alpha Traffic” and
The Acme thunderer made by J.Hudson & Co. of England , Tittled as “Thunderer” Traffic.
whistle_Museum,_1923_S_W_REESE___CO_CATALOG,_POLICE_Whistles A.Strauss Article


whistle_museum,_Ex_Rare_antique_whistle_A_STrauss,_Esc____N_S_Traffic_Police_ whistle_S_A_French_N_Y_.whistle _ museumjpg

“TRAFFIC”, S.A. French, This is one of the rarest American whistles, in fact one known, it is especially well made, outstanding,
Ring Loops  are usually seen on GSW’s and considered as a sign of cheaper quality ,
and are so many times but this one is an exception.
A London type escargot with a rod strenghening under beak + Four parts and top loop, the sides  are thick, it is silver plated brass not nickel silver,  has two fine upper and lower tooth grips and stamped under the beak, S. A. FRENCH N.Y .
S. A. French was a famous dealer for police supplies and his 1886 catalogue show many items and one BGI whistle, I would assume the one here was made in the 1880’s to 1905 and may had been made in europe but as of yet I had never seen a simmilar one . ( a few years after the article was published another one or two popped up )

“B & O R.R ” – BALTIMORE & OHIO Rail Road

A Rare sample of a Large size London style escargot stamped “Police Whistle U.S.A.”
The cheap quality of the stamp reminds the early B & R stamps on GSW’s.

B & R

Note the arched lower window side.B & R Cyclone P.R.R  Railway whistle Pensilvania Rail way.

B& R were the largest U.S.A company making whistles since late 19th century , we know little
about the company ,
Many Models of B & R whistles are to be found with Various stamps , they made whistles up to late 1930’s or 40’s.
A Company named B & R M’F’G’ Co. excsisted in New York City making Tin Banks since the 1860’s.
But no other information was yet found.
1869 Dated B & R Dime Bank.

” Regulation Gemsco”
whistle__A_Strauss,_American_whistles,_Esc__Us_Traffic whistle museum

B & R JERRY No .2550
whistle_museum_B___R_Jerry_No__2550_RARE Whistle

An early version of the Pensilvania Rail Road Co. Stamp on an escargot.

B & R famous model “Cyclone Police” , a sturdy whistle.

A Later B & R model stamped “Made in The U.S.A” , “Hump back top”
Cap top made similar to Hudson’s British Patent of 1924, using a groove in the cap to wire it to the body before  soldering cap in place,
a classical method still used by Hudson today patent of 1924 .
The arched stamp “Made in U.S.A” was used on B & R. ‘s whistles.
Below a B & R with flat loop. NOTE THE FLAT LOOP CAP TOP
very practical and cheaper to produce. probably made since the early 1930’s after the Depression, no patent found yet.
many earlier American bubble top escargots showed up with a Hump back cap and later with a flat loop . The Flat loop was made by Gotham Metal work and by B & R.Escargot_whistle_museum,_USA_Townsend_sporting_Goods_Co__Omaha

“Regulation U.S Army Solid Brass” with a distinct  typical American flat loop.
“OFFICIAL POLICE” with  star logo and head lights ?

German escargots in the USA. “Traffic Police Signal” another article should deal with German and Japanese whistles made for the U.S.A Market.Cast metal with embossed stamp “SIGNAL POLICE” , Rare.

Two” TRYON, TRADE MARK” Whistles a Glasgow Type and a Smaller Tappered beak London Type.
Edward Tryon & Co. were a well established arms , Guns makers Their catalog of 1883 already shows whistles.

North Brothers Escargot. whistle, very rare.
North Bros. Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, Stamped London type escargot whistle, Rare, one seen.


North Brothers Manufacturing Company begun its existence as a small business established by Selden G. North, a machinist, in 1878. 
Ralph H.North joined 1880 and they run under the name North brothers.
A third brother, Frank H. North, joined the firm in 1886. 
They operated as Brass foundry and a tinning and galvanizing buisness.
Located at at 23rd and Race Streets in Philadelphia, 
1892 moved to larger quarters at Lehigh and American Streets .
In 1887 the company was incorporated with a name of North Brothers Manufacturing Company.


Horstmann, Philadelphia , Founded1816 – The history of the largest American Military equipment dealer of the 19th century – William H. Horstmann & Co. of Philadelphia.
Major maker and supplier of military equipment. Possibly pre 1893 ? Certainly Pre WWI.
Horstmann & Sons or Horstmann Borthers or W.H. Horstmann & sons. From 1893-1954 W.H. Horstmann Company. Horstmann also made GSW’s and swords with cast brass pea whistles

MacGregor, Goldsmith # 6 Tappered beak London style bubble top escargot. A nicely stamped whistle,
simmilar to the Goldsmith # 6.

More whistles with original Box.

There are 8 Variations of the American Glasgow style escargots made for Boy & Girl scouts.

Model # 1281


V.L. & A special Chicago

Townsend sporting Goods Co. OMAHA.

Military whistles

United States Navy, WWII.

” Military” , The Pea can reveal a lot to the experienced eye. this one has a very old large cork pea.

WWII Oval side stamp , this particular one was hand engraved by a soldier. Usually has one plain side.

Colsoff  Manuf. Co.Huntley Rd Columbus Ohio 43229. Model No 300 1960’s.

This old style heavy  guilded brass escargot whistle with a lion embossed and an extra ring in his mouth was made by an american artist named Pauline Rader .in the 1960’s .

To be cont.
Whistle museum, A Strauss Copyright © 2009

Posted by WHISTLE MUSEUM at 5/13/2009 3:16 PM
Categories: By Shape and type
Tags: A Strauss American whistle American escargots Escargot whistles American whistles whistle museum

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13 thoughts on “American whistles, Metal Escargot shape whistles, whistles in the U.S.A (Part 1, At work)”

  1. i have a brass whistle marked the komex with a line above the o. and number 0 . F 0 0 . below the komex would like to find out the date and where it came from. can not find any thing on the net about it i know it is vintage.

  2. I have a mint condition, American made Winchester bubble top escargots whistle with interlocking flaps. Stamped: Winchester Trade Mark Made in U.S.A. 1806. It also has the original 24 inch lanyard with hand made clasp at the end. I am interested in selling it. The only one I found on line was the one you have that is 1805.

  3. Hi i would love any information you might have on a brass whistle i have with “Horstmann Phila” stampes on it. Thanks

  4. Trytrying to find a picture of a whistle I recently purchased that says the thunderer on top then just the word England underneath and on the side it says three friends true friends and the Harris co Chicago

  5. Can anyone help me I have a B&R cyclone with the P.R.R on it and I would like to sell but can’t find them anywhere?

  6. Hi, Can you give me some information, I have a “V. L. & A. Special Chicago” whistle. I see the name on your page. Please let me know. Thank you.

  7. I found a beautiful old brass Unstamped Escargot pea whistle with matching chain lanyard. Wondered if you could help me identify it. Any where I can post a picture or email one?

    Cheers! And great site!

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