J. Hudson & co. New Historical Research The 1870 First Address Found and the 1882 To 1885 The Unknown Police whistles , Asylums , Fire Brigades Prison and Parks whistles by J. Hudson & Co. A. Strauss

(At work ) The new information which surfaced on the web in the last two years brought MANY previously unknown facts dates and research options for whistle manufactures in Great Britain during the the 19th century, this new info changed the way many we see Dates, and miss-concepts which prevailed whistle research up to now. Newly discovered  info about whistles and manufacturers led me to work on a new and some updated articles about whistles and their makers.
Some of the observations and conclusions can be found hinted
in between the lines.
This article would deal with some news about the background and The
First address For J. Hudson previously unknown and mostly
Police whistles made by J. Hudson & Co. in 1882 – 1885 ,
Mostly the ones not made for the Metropolitan police (Already discussed in Depth in the “Collecting Police whistles and Similar Types” Book by Martyn Gilchrist and Simon Topman Pub. 1998 ) The Book is a must and highly recommended for anyone who wishes to study whistles ,
Published almost 20 years ago it was a great stepping stone and inspiration for collectors and students of these and the best so far .

While the previous article dealt with How to date J. Hudson whistles by Stamps and other means, Victorian and Post Victorian stamps and the next would try to deal with whistle manufactured 1870 – 1882. 
Joseph Hudson started working with metal at the age of Twelve that is 1860 ,
a dated metal ashtray stamped with his name and was found, since studying
whistle makers we now know that every Master studied – worked with a previous one since there were no schools for that it fits well that J .H. worked for Bent (since 1861 being 13 years old , Later Bent & Parker on 87 Newhall st. ( Parker Joined Bent in 1863 ) they were making military ornaments and whistles .
In 1870 the Young 22 years old Hudson moved to start his own workshop buying tools and having a home work shop, In Febuary 1871 he got married to Jane,  and was working as a military ornament maker at :
7 House, Court 3, Bell Barn Road in 1871.
In 1874 He had his younger brother James Joined him and together
they had a larger place at 17 Mark’s St Registered as Co.  Joseph and James Hudson Co.
In 1876 they  registered a corkscrew and whistle design .
( James Died in 1889 making some unique whistles which are recognizeable by his unique Mouthpiece )
As all other “whistle Makers” at the period whistles were a small part of business and a large array of products and they as othesr
relied financially on manufacturing many other Brass items .
It was so to such an extent that WHISTLE MAKERS advertisments
in previous years mentioned DOZENS of items but no whistles
albeit they were the largest manufacturers of whistles , (1830’s – 1870’s ).

First address known for J. Hudson 7 House, Court 3, Bell Barn Road. Barn
1870 – 1874


So we have Hudson at Two addresses in the Early Years:
1870 – 1874 :  7 House, Court 3 Bell Barn Road
1874 – 1881  :  17 St. Mark’s St. cottages 

I will deal with whistles made up to 1882 by Hudson in an upcoming post, The early years, anyway the myth that Hudson was the first to make Two Notes Tube Whistles
(TNTW ) or as usually refered to as GSW ‘s  – General Service Whistles
(Since the 1998 CPW book) is a myth . (Albeit the story with the violin is really great..the violin fell down and the dissonance of two strings gave him
the inspiration for a two different notes whistle).
This is in NO WAY  diminishes the overall Genius which Joseph Hudson was along with his outstanding brilliance as a craftsman & a business man who built an empire of whistle making, later to become the renowned ACME WHISTLES Ltd. which out lasted all other whistle makers and is still exists. (well over 150 years now). 
When studying his whistles and history one can not help but admire his Genius and skills which enabled the rising (from a scratch) and maintaining his empire which survived while all other whistle makers, and there were many, did not. 

As to the specific first Two notes tube whistle it is a subject for another Post see my article about J. Stevens & Son who were already making these in the 1860’s, for Fact
( Model No. 27 ) Here for the first time after years of research.

In the years 1880- -82 Hudson supplied his first ones to the Manchester Police Here is one made in the 17 St. Mark’s Street address.
The sideway stamp along the body was used by W. Dowler & Sons
and was typical . ( It does seem that Dowler supplied the Manchester Police whistles for few years at least until 1886 )
It would be interesting to note that Manchester Police ordered whistles
from Dowler for Few Years and they were NOT on the List of Cities Hudson supplied whistles to in 1885 . (Scroll Down ) so in between the making of the
Manchester City Police prior to 1882 and the 1885 adv and later Dowler supplied their whistles , At that period Police Forces in Great Britain were using all kinds of whistles since probably the 1840’s ( we have records for manufacturers making Police whistles in the late 1850’s ) and there was no standard. One may note the 1885 adv.

In 1882 The brothers moved the Business to a new much larger place employing more workers , Hudson entered a competition held by the Metropolitan police force in London in 1883 and won But the First order
was made January 1884.

1885 adv. By Hudson for ” The Metropolitan Whistle Works” 
along with Listings in the ‘book of stamps’ that is kept by Hudson
– Acme Whistles Ltd.  (Each worker using a stamp had to fill in the Date quantities and who made the order etc. in a detailed book,
before returning the stamp back in a stamp cabinet or room )

About 70 Police Forces including the London Metropolitan ,
as well as some very small cities .
Here is in alphabetical order  the list of NAMED City or Force Whistles
scroll down to see the very few of the lot found , some more I will hopefully update in the future , but bare in mind some are so rare that no actuall whistle is known to exist.


Made Supplied up to 1885
Airshire, Argyleshire,  Airdrie, Aberdeenshire, Accrington , Abingdon. Aberdeen,
Berks, Beckley, Berwick – upon -Tweed, Bolton , Bridgenorth, Barrow- in- Furness, Basingstoke, Burgh of Govan, Burg Of Dumbarton, Berwickshire,
British Burma,  (Birminham NOT THERE !)
Cardiff,  Carnrvon, Cornwall
Devonport, Denbigshire, Dorchester, Dover, Dubdee Burghs ,
Dumbartonshire, Dumfrieshire
East Riding, East and West India Doc Co. , Elgin, Essex,
Guilford , Great Yarmouth, Great Grimsby , Goteborgs ,
Hants, Hastings , Haddingtonshire, Hawick , Isle of Man.
Kent, Kidderminster,Kirkcudbrighsdshire ,
Lanarkshire,  etc, see list in Adv

9 Asylum Whistles For:

Birmingham, Broadmoor, Carmarthen , Cambridgeshire ,
Kent, Laveratock House, Moulsford , Newcastle -upon- Tyne ,
Three counties.

6 Fire Brigade Forces Whistles
Harborne, Margate , Reading, West Bromwich , South Metropolitan, Volunteer.

8 Prison whistles , (Her majesty’s Convict Prisons )

Borstal. Chatham, etc

9 Park’s whistles ( H.M. Commisioners of Works )

Battersea Park , Greenwich, . Etc

Now it should be noted that while the Metropolitan Police actually ordered THOUSANDS of whistles while some of the small forces on this list ordered JUST ONE BATCH of 144 whistles which was the minimum order for a stamped whistle, and none were ever seen or found yet , either because scrapped since police forces were not aloud to sell equipment or lost .
Making some of these so very rare .

Metropolitan Police whistles Three main early types MP1 – MP3
Note the DIFFERENT stamps , These are Numbered at the Back ,
1883 were unnumbered .


A rare opportunity to look at a TOPLESS MP3 whistle and the Patent stamped on diaphragm – disk . since mid. 1885
( It is the actual No 1061 MP 3 from the CPW book )
Very few 1884 and early and Late 1885 Police whistles , Registered is early , Patent is Later : and Birmingham,  Bucks,  Hastings,  Kent,  Port Glasgow , Stockport
In few group photos 131-barr-st-1885-police-whistles-whistle-museum-avner-strauss


Mixed 7 Police actual whistles with City Police Force or constabulary from 1884  1895  found on the list.
Hastings Police (Numbered ) , Kent County Constabulary,  Norwich Police Stirlingshire Police ( 1884 Buckingham st ) South Shields Police, Staffordshire Police, Wilts Police , (1884 )


4X , 1885 made whistles for the Kent County Constabulary at close look


* Refurbuished mouthpiece

4 scotish  police whistles Later 1885 : Angus Police, Abroath Police, Inverness Constabulary and Renfrewshire Constabulary , All very rare.

I tried to keep the article short even if there was a lot more to say , Kindly send in photos of very rare ones which are on the list for the benefit of all .
The work was a mutual effort and the aid of  John from the Whistlecollection which I should credit for much of the info photos & encouragement. Thanks !



14 thoughts on “J. Hudson & co. New Historical Research The 1870 First Address Found and the 1882 To 1885 The Unknown Police whistles , Asylums , Fire Brigades Prison and Parks whistles by J. Hudson & Co. A. Strauss”

  1. Great website with some very interesting information.

    Is there any chance you could send me a copy of the photo of your Hastings Police whistle. I would like to use it for us future article in the PICA magazine In UK. This is a members only not for profit publication with very small print run. I would like to do an article on the Police Whistles of Sussex and have access to most types but not a Hastings one. I would credit the museum site with the photo.
    With thanks
    Stuart, Eastbourne UK

  2. I have a Whistle with “The Metropolitan ” in a serif type face. No other markings at all except for “Made in England ” below the air intake. Does anyone know if this was for the Police or why there are no maker’s mark.? I would be most greatful as I plan on throwing it in the bin. It works but we have dash cams and radio now so it’s useless.

  3. i have the type of this whistle
    with lotuse print at the back … i need to know the details of it special the date of manufacture …. many thanks in advance

  4. i have a whistle with this details
    J. HUDSON & Co

    i need to know details about this whistle special the date of manufacture

  5. We have a J. Hudson whistle which has the markings..

    J.Hudson & Co
    a broad arrow stamp

    Could you please let us know anything about it .
    Many thanks

    Mike Pagett

  6. I am just interested to know what my whistle is worth, from what I can see it was manufactured in 1908-1909.
    It is a; THE Metorpolitan, J Hudson & Co, 13 Barr Street, Birmingham, Patent.

  7. I have a VERY rare Asylum whistle from the Three Counties Asylum..Many whistle from this asylum come up for sale but none as rare as this.In fact I bet you have never seen or heard of one like it.. My Whistle is stamped REGISTERED rather than PATENT. it also has the 84 Buckingham Street Birmingham stamp near the window. Hudsons told me they think this would have been one of the first asylum whistles ever made. Its manufacture date would have been March and April 1884…Complete with chain and rounded mouth piece. I am thinking of selling this whistle please email if you are interested.. rich@threecountiesasylum.co.uk

  8. Did you see the whistle eventually selling for £1130 on eBay it had what looked like a crown with West Inv written on it
    Any idea who used these.

  9. I have a whistle by J Hudson &Co. marked The Knoxall Police Call which has J Hudson & Co on the inside( visible through the window) and patent on the other side. Can you please give me any information on this item.

  10. Hi
    I have a whistle I believe to be my grandfathers (circa ww1)
    The only markings are (in order from top to bottom)
    13 BARR ST

    I’m intrigued that the address given in your listings is 131 Barr Street, yet the whistle I have is marked 13 Barr Street. Was this a later or earlier address

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