Composition paint whistles for Ships. Marine, Naval, Nautical. A. Strauss

Three Composition Paint Antique Whistles, Left to right ; Round Pea Whistle by Alfred DeCourcy, Suter Hartman ‘Red Hand’ Escargot of outstanding design & embossed stamps By A. DeCourcy and a ‘Use Holzapfel’s by J. Hudson & Co. All very rare.
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Three German made Composition Paint Escargot shape whistles.
Under construction

Marine, Naval, Nautical, Navy whistles, Professional whistles
is a huge subject in itself, small none Bosun – Boatswain’s call,
Speaking tube whistles and large steam whistle and more.
Here are some Compostion paint whistles.

Short Forward
A short forward is called for in regards with some terms connected to this
very specific subject of Naval Interest. mostly ESCARGOT type whistles.
German, British , France, USA.
It is an original relatively small theme – sub-category which I would like to put a spotlight on, hopefully I would find out others.

Composition Paint was in used in the later 19th Century to
earlier part of 20th century. The term changed to Anti-Fouling Paints.
wikipedia Anti-fouling paint
Iron Ships Ironclad Warship Maritime Museum

The Companies of Compostion paint were thriving towards the late 19th century, The whistles they ordered and used were all Escargot – Snail shaped -referee – type whistles, ordered with their LOGO Company’s name and / or paint trade mark name. These were used as advertisement and by workers.
(One found exeption is a De Courcy made Round Pea Whistle For a British Paint.
Most were ORDERED by German Companies some naturally from German Makers , Some German companies ordered some whistles from British whistles makers.
There are just about 12 whistles known to me as of now.
Hopefully others will surface. Whistles made in Germany, England, U.S.A
A example for a French company was ordered from Acme whistles Ltd.
after mid 1920s.

I shall take a look at 6 German ones :

1) Stern Composition logo. The F.A.C Van Der Linder & Co. HAMBURG, Stern composition Paint by Heinrich Zimmerman Leipzig, 1890s early 1900 is of speciaal importance, since it is one of the first to be seen with this Interlocking Teeth
2) Holzapfel Composition paint Propeler Logo
3) Von Hoverling Compostion Paint (Est. 1879)

A closer look at Number one Stern, – Star Logo, Made By Heinrich Zimmerman
C. 1900 Reveals it has 4 Interlocking teeth, Known as Dove-tail or Nut feather in wood working.
3 Teeth to side and one to the beak on each side,
This is important since it appeared over a decade before this type of construction was used by Gotham Metal work, an American Company.
And was unattributed until i discovered this few years back.

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Three more German made Escargot type whistles for Composition paint:
4) Th.  Höeg Patent, Hamburg
5) Hansa Farben Fabrik with X shape trade mark to side (Based in Kiel)
6) Rhatjen’s Shiffs boden with Red Hand Logo Trade Mark – Shutz marke
(See whistle’s photos on original advertisemnt)

Number 4 Front Stamp

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Clearer side view
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  • Number 5 Hansa, front view & Detailed Advertisement
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Number 6

Stubbenuk 30/31 HAMBURG

Time Line for ‘Red Hand’ and Holzapfel Compostion Paint Since 1856 Hamburg.

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See more ‘Red Hand’ and Holzapfel Composition Paint Continued with a De Courcy & J. Hudson & Co. whistles


Alfred DeCourcy Master piece for Rahtjen’s Composition paint.

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On right hand side J. Hudson & Co. Escargot shape 1897 -1911 Patent, stamped on 4 sides, (See next Photo) Holzapfel made marine paint used on Cunard ships Mauretania and Lusitania amongst others, other side has a propeller logo
Holzapfel’s compositions Company Limited .
Used for Promotional to advertise their marine paints.

Suter Hartmann & Rahtjen’s Co. Ltd London

Suter Hartmann and Rahtjens Composition (Grace’s Guide)
of 18 Billiter Street, London, EC 1870 Company established for the purpose of introducing Rahtjen’s Composition. 1888 Incorporated as a limited company.
1891 Released a catalogue. 1914 Manufacturers of anti-corrosive and anti-fouling composition for ships’ bottoms, anti-corrosive paints for the interior of vessels and protection of metal work, enamel paint for all decorative purposes. 

On the outbreak of the First World War a notice appeared in the press, which Emphasised the completely British nature of the company, with the directors all being British born or British Naturalised citizens. However, this did not entirely put the matter to rest. Two years later, the company wrote to acknowledge the existence of a small alien enemy shareholding, which they had now been able to eliminate. They also took the opportunity to change the company name to Red Hand Compositions Limited, based on their trade mark. 1927 Red Hand Compositions Limited, went into voluntary liquidation.

while all Examples found use an Escargot shape here is an unuaual Example of a Round Pea whistle made by Alfred De Courcy & Co. For ECONOMIC Compostion Paints ETC.
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Above German made later Holzapfel Propeler logo whistle, The German made ones
have the propeler’s arms filled with lined etching, where Hudson’s do not.

Holzapfels Ltd, maker of marine paints, such as Holzapfel’s Compositions, anti-corrosive and anti-fouling compositions of Newcastle-upon-Tyne1881 Company founded in Gateshead, as M. Holzapfel and Co., using a barrel as the first mixing vessel 1886 Manufacturer of International anti-fouling compositions for ships, Rahtjens patent anti-fouling compositions, varnish distillers and general merchants; Leopold Holzapfel of 17 Cambridge St, Newcastle upon Tyne was a member of the firm. 1887 Dissolution of the Partnership between Fritz Schnitger, Leopold Holzapfel, Max Holzapfel, and Wilhelm Holzapfel, as Merchants and Manufacturers, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, under the style of M. Holzapfel and Co., at Glasgow, Liverpool, 116 Fenchurch-street, London, Antwerp, and New York, under the style of Holzapfel and Co., and at Newcastle-on-Tyne and London, under the style of Fred Schnitger and Co. All debts and other moneys due, to and owing, by the late firm will be received and paid by the said Leopold Holzapfel, Max Holzapfel, and Wilhelm Holzapfel, who will continue to carry on business at Newcastle-uporv-Tyne under the style of M. Holzapfel and Co., and at Glasgow, Liverpool, and London, as Holzapfel and Co., and the said Fritz Schnitger will continue to carry on business at Newcastle-on-Tyhe and London, as Fred Schnitger and Co. 1890 Incorporated as Holzapfel’s Composition Company 1891 Albert Charles Augustus Holzapfel was a manufacturer of compositions. 1892 Dissolution of the Partnership between Wilhelm Holzapfel, Max Holzapfel, and Albert Charles Augustus Holzapfel, carrying on business as Composition and Varnish Manufacturers and Dealers, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 57, Fenchurch-street, London, and Sevastopol, in Russia, under the style of M. Holzapfel and Co. Max Holzapfel and Albert Charles Augustus Holzapfel will continue to carry on the business. c.1908 Public company as Holzapfels Ltd

1909 Holszapfel’s Compositions Company Ltd was in liquidation

1914 Chairman: Max Holzapfel

1918 The foreign element of ownership of the company had been removed; the name of the Holzapfels company was changed to International Paint and Compositions Co.

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A Ship’s related theme, for the American New York based URIS Co. not compostion paint, Ship Store Supplies Both by Alfred De Courcy, using his V Shape folding top design of 1907, I had found the top had two variations using long & Short top.

The Federal Compostion & Paint Co. Inc. New York USA
+ Marine Paints 33 Rector St. c 1920s

The Federal Composition and Paint Co. Inc. New York U.S.A

The Whistle was made by the Gotham Metal Works Co. In New York Which may well had been the largest manufacturer of whistles at its time in the United States and of which so little is known about.



Acme Thunderer Post 1925 For J.M. GIVONE Shiphandler Marceille
Antifouling Carenaggio 1877 (Est.) Compositions. France.
Made by Acme Whistles Ltd. Birmingham. (Collection of J. Bokobsa)

Observator Rotterdam
whistle post 1924, and the building in 1924
and today (A photo I took c 2021.

German c 1900 whistle combined with Flag Signal codes, Flag Codes and Morse Code, measuring tool and compass windows are at both sides.

Alte D.R.G.M Dopple Tone Marine Pfeife

Fahnensignale Signal Pfeife, German FLAG SIGNAL WHISTLE. So far it is the only one known to us.

Shall you find more whistles connected to this subject or find mistakes
we would be glad to hear from you. A. Strauss
Whistle museum article by Avner Strauss, all rights to photos and article reserved.

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