More Whistles By Martyn Gilchrist, B. Lilly & Sons – H. A. Ward Siren Whistle, J. Dixon & Sons Pre 1843 Beaufort Whistle

More Whistles by Martyn Gilchrist and some about two early whistles and updates about the makers history.
very-rare-h-a-ward-siren-whistle-whistle-museumAbove B. Lilly and Sons whistle which seems to be made by Henry Arthur Ward,
New material points to the facts that B. Lilly started at 1857 and H.A. Ward at about the same time as J. Ward 1857 * (See foot note) Both were skilled brass founders.
There seem to be 3 Variations some differ in the inner parts , Here is another larger variation which seems to be a later one with a none cast Mouthpiece.


“More whistles ” Pub 2005, was the last published book about whistles .
Author’s edition. It followed two other books by him , “Whistles ”
And “Collecting Police Whistles and Simmilar types ” Co written with Simon Topman, [ owner of “Acme” whistles and an immense knowledge of history of whistles, “Acme Whistles” in Birmingham is the largest and oldest still existing  (Since 1870’s ) whistle manufacturer a visit there is a fascinating experience to whistle enthusiasts ]  , known among collectors and dealers as CPW book and considered the “Bible” of police whistles and ‘General Service Whistles’ – GSW’s a term coined by Martyn Gilchrist.
Martyn was a true whistle scholar, Authority and collector who set the paste and inspired generations of collectors. ( Including my self ).

The Field of researching and finding new makers and whistles as well as deepening our knowledge of these is exiting .
I think this books are a ‘must’ for every whistle collector and anyone interested in whistles.

more-whistles-martyn-gilchristWhen I started collecting I did ‘collect by the book’  probably as most serious collectors did marking a V each time I found one.

As less and less books are published,  luckily there is a vast amount of information on the web, new facts and whistles from the 19th century ( and before and after ) as well as more about the history of makers – manufacturers almost on a daily basis , if one is into research .

The First page of the book shows some of the main 7 types of whistles and on the back of this page short details about the maker, and special thanks of the author  to Mr. Alan Keeping who let numerous whistles in the book to be pictured.
of each . 20 whistles .
Photo # 2
Some of these whistles are common and some Very Rare,
Swaine & Co. – Dixon & Sons
The 5th one in the first row is stamped Swaine & Co. London
Swaine later became Swaine & Adeney .
The Swaine & Co. If I remember right Became Swaine & Addeney in 1843   . so now we can date this whistle which was made by J. Dixon and Sons in Sheffield to Pre 1843
1814 Directory shows Swaine & Co. listed as Whip makers to his majesty at 238 Piccadilly St.
I found that John Swaine was working by himself in the late 1790s
( 1798 ) Here are some dates
Swaine & Co. – 1800-c.1820
Swaine, Slocock & Swaine – c.1820-c.1829
Swaine, Son & Isaac – c.1829-c.1835
Swaine & Isaac – c.1835-c.1846
Swaine, Isaac & Adeney – c.1846-1848
Swaine & Adeney – 1848-1910
Swaine & Adeney Ltd. – 1910-1943
Swaine, Adeney, Brigg & Sons – 1943-the present.

J. Dixon started his Business in 1806 .
Swaine & Co. were the suppliers and were an outlet for Stevens & Sons and Porteous whistles as well I believe (Will have to check my notes, well I did many updates regarding this subject )
This one made by J. Dixon and Sons Pre 1843 is a Beaufort Type whistle with an Ivory MP  ( mouthpiece) . It was made in various sizes ( At least 3 ) , this is the larger model over 80mm .
Photo # 3

swain-co-made-by-dixon-sons-whistle-museumB. Lilly & Son  Siren whistle which is number 7 in the top row in the photo # 2 a Siren whistle  is very rare and beside the one formerly in the collection of Mr. Gilchrist sold privately for 70 GBP in the 2000’s There is just one other found, (Photo # 4 originally from a Pre – WWII collection ). It is Interesting to note that the two Siren whistles known vary considerably in construction on the inside part , did they made two versions or was one of the parts added later,
a question which will be answered when more examples are found.
Obviously if not for the book we would not know it is a B. Lily & Sons but we do not know how he did find out , probably using an unknown catalog ?
Albeit the book states B. Lilly as manufacturer I do believe it was made by H.A.Ward.
It may take more time to find out the exact details and as many other inaccuracies in the book regarding makers & dates which surface dew to new research material available now we will just have to wait and keep searching, It is the best book on the subject of whistles and highly recommended .
In the book the whistle is Mentioned as B. Liliy & Sons 1910’s Siren whistle but since they did not make whistles at this point as far as I know but rather ordered their whistles from A. DeCourcey or H.A. Ward I would think it was made by Ward since DeCourcey was making other siren whistles at this point in time The Syren .

H. A. Ward  which we know little about but more and more is revealed , including many updates to the details and dates in the books .
H. A. Ward – Henry Arthur Ward ( Do not mix with the American maker Ward – Jas. H. Ward , As I did for a long time, and was active at the same time ) Started making whistles probably from 1860s  ,
( Not as previously known 1889 ) He was a Gun maker .

1857 James Ward & Sons  ,Central gun works,  3 St. Mary’s Row Birmingham
( Until it was demolished c. 1960’s)  * thanks again Pete Owen
This research findings really change what we know about H. A. Ward and other makers , I bring some of the updates here.
Photo # 3

1866 Henry and James (Junior) Ward 24 Bath St. later expanding to 24-27 Bath 
14-15 Russell Street 1880– up to 94 ? to be checked
65 Weaman Street 1889-1897 Alpha Gun Works
27 Loveday street 1898 – 1902
99 Snow hill 1903 – 1908 or a later date
1910 directories do not have him listed.
The B. Lily & Son – Ward  globular shape Siren whistle is probably made after 1905 up to 1908 .
1910’s as I have written on Pictures according to the book may be inaccurate. ***

Photo # 4

B. Lily & Son Siren whistle probably made by H.A. Ward c. 1900’s
Measures : L : 55mm Diameter: 31.5 mm
Cast MP diameter : about 13mm
The top is a screw top here is a look showing the whistle’s 6 Holes rotor made of Bakelite .
This unique design with very DISTINCT windows was probably inspired by an American made whistle seen in the “STRAND MAGAZINE” of 1905
in an article by Ziegler.
Photo #5 (Sorry about the automatic water mark )

Photo # 6
h-a-ward-siren-whistle-openThe top of the whistle is relatively lite and has 5 Holes . Photo # 7

* Special thanks to Mr. Pete Owen for new material and updates and help in research .

** I would like to say special thanks Mr. Pierre Catanès for his help and immense knowledge, one may read his most conclusive article about CLAY WHISTLES
which he did for the museums in France, it is in French and one should be carefull when using google translation

He also has the Clay sifflet museum 
*** Today I am aware that MANY mistakes were and are made even by the best whistle scholars , and I am know I made few in the past and will probably find mistakes as my knowledge hopefully expands , since it is a blog & website and not a book ,
I can always update , the boks that “Boroughed”  my material from old articles
and cited these including spelling mistakes can not unfortunately do this.

Whistle museum Notes & articles By A.Strauss All right reserved.
Thanks for reading and sharing , “It is good to be good ” A.S

whistle museum logo

* [ Taking this fact into consideration I now believe he may have had made a whistle stamped BEN which was in doubt weather he or Yates made, It had a 1870s look ]

One thought on “More Whistles By Martyn Gilchrist, B. Lilly & Sons – H. A. Ward Siren Whistle, J. Dixon & Sons Pre 1843 Beaufort Whistle”

  1. I have an old whistle that is bell shaped, with a scooped out mouth piece and a rather long top for the attachment of a cord. Total inches: 2 inches plus about 1/8. There are no markings on it and is made of metal. It is quite old, belonging to either my g-g grandfather (From England) or his son – also English from 1830 on.

    If you have any information on this style it would be greatly appreciated.

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