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The Whistle Gallery Collection

Collections > The Whistle Gallery Collection

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Our first try for housing our collection was to have glass cases built, three of them eventually. Using piano hinges for the glass doors really helped to keep the doors from sagging ( mostly ). Then we made shelves with adjustable holes on each side of the insides, left and right for setting whistle shelves to lay the whistles on and for putting small hooks for hanging them underneath too. The poster we sell is of our first cabinet.

This worked great — for a while. We had one built for the first twenty years looking here and there in shops, garage sales, antique fairs — you know the hunt. Then we broke into the ‘international garage sale’ of the internet and we had to build a couple more. THAT turned out to be too expensive for us and our future plans, so we struck on the idea of using picture frames. But before we could find any we liked, I came across some  other frames — can you guess where they came from ?? KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN  menu boards !!! I worked as an electrician and they were throwing them out for plastic lit ones !!! BINGO !!!

So we sanded them a little and oiled them. Then we took some matching plywood with oak veneer, 1/4 inch thick and cut to fit the frames, screwed them to the backs ( we made several ). Of course they were plain sheets so we had to oil them too. If I had to do it over again I would have stained the backs to match first, then oiled them.

Lastly was marking the lines lightly with pencil for setting all the hooks. What helped is using a very small drill bit for each hole. Then I started each hook and used a cordless drill chuck to screw them most of the way down — saved a lot of twisting !!! Voila !! Over 100 whistles per frame—including escargots or gsws.

We have one 5 wide board for the main reference collection. All our whistles fit into one small office as we are constantly reducing the collection where we can in order to rotate them out, only keeping what we need for reference.  It has worked out to be invaluable for me in doing research. I use it as an open faced file. I have rearranged them countless times, cutting back on some, expanding on others. It’s a living breathing organism.

Any kind of frame would work though, just a matter of taste, size of the frame, size of your collection, and how many frames !!! Here is the very early cabinet. It continues to be used and as we grow in our studies of certain types of whistles  we pull some out and add others. The variety keeps improving because some whistle defy having ‘cousins’ that can be grouped together. Or they are so very rare to get that they do not graduate to a group outside the box 🙂 — However if enough is found to pull out and write an article about them,  they are pushed out of the nest.



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