Two Air Ministry Issued Whistles
Two Air Ministry Issued Whistles - The first whistle is fabricated from a nickel-plated brass alloy, with a shaped mouthpiece and two distinct chambers for passage of air to exit on either side, plus a ring on the opposite end for attachment to the accompanying chain, marked with the Royal Crown above "A.M." (Air Ministry), "293/W/102" and maker marked "J. HUDSON & Co BIRMINGHAM" on the cylindrical shaft, measuring 18 mm x 82.2 mm. Second whistle is the "snail-style" version, fabricated from a nickel-plated brass alloy, with a wide mouthpiece, cork pea, plus a ring on the opposite end for attachment to the accompanying chain, marked with the Royal Crown with "A.M." (Air Ministry) above and "23/230" below on one side, marked "293/14/L1795" on the other, measuring 18 mm x 21 mm x 49.3 mm. Oxidation spot on the first whistle, both whistles exhibiting light contact from active use. Very fine. Footnote: Whistles made of bone or wood have been used for thousands of years for spiritual, practical, and entertainment purposes. One of the most distinctive whistles is the boatswain's pipe used aboard naval vessels to issue commands and salute dignitaries. It has evolved from pipes used in ancient Greece and Rome to keep the stroke of galley slaves. A medieval version was used during the Crusades to assemble English crossbow men on deck for an attack. The model currently being produced by the Acme Whistle Company of Birmingham, England, was first manufactured in 1868 by the company's founder, Joseph Hudson. The modern era of whistle use began in 1878 when a whistle was first blown by a referee during a sporting event. Hudson, a toolmaker who was fascinated with whistles, fashioned a brass instrument that was used in a match at the Nottingham Forest Soccer Club. This device was found to be superior to the usual referee's signal of waving a handkerchief. In 1883, the London constabulary force made it known that it was seeking an alternative noisemaker to replace the heavy, cumbersome hand rattle the officers had been using. Hudson invented a light, compact whistle that produced two discordant tones that could be heard for more than a mile. It was immediately adopted and the same design is still in use today. The following year, Hudson invented the "pea whistle." Movement of a small ball enclosed in the whistle's air chamber produces the familiar trilling effect now commonly associated with American constabulary and referee whistles.