Yesterday we mused over what makes a police whistle — a police whistle…today we address the classic, almost iconic METROPOLITAN POLICE whistle.
How did the name become so pervasive ?? Perhaps all countries are alike in this, certainly it is so in the states —- names get attached to items and almost BECOME those items.
For example, in the states when someone wants a tissue, they ask for a Kleenex. Or if someone wants some angled pliers, they ask for Channel locks. Perhaps you want to wear some blue jeans and you say Levis.
So it goes with the Metropolitan whistle. According to Collecting Police Whistles by Martyn Gilchrist, There was a competition to get the contract for the Metropolitan Police force ( i.e. London Police force ) for using whistles. The whistle to use was won by Joseph Hudson's company back in the early 1880s. Guess what stamp was used right on the top front ?? YUP,
The name stuck. OK, weird but true >>>>>>>> it was then used by other police forces along with their particular force ALSO stamped on the front !! Only now the word Police was moved to the bottom …… An example would be…..
What once was applied to the London Metropolitan Police only, now was used in other cities, counties, etc. !! Confusing ?? A little. Now add to this….
Prisons used the Metropolitan stamp above and the prison name below.
Fire brigades used the Metropolitan stamp above and their fire brigade below.
Railways used their the Metropolitan stamp above and their railway below
get the picture ?? Of course, Metropolitan became a Trademark of Hudsons supplying those whistles.
Nothing wrong at all here guys, good enterprise really. However in the process, ANY tube shaped whistle stamped The Metropolitan whistle took on the ethereal qualities of ….THE Metropolitan Police whistle. Worse yet, a generic tube shaped whistle could easily be confused as being such.
Here is your test question to see how we did. In your travels you come across a whistle that says The Metropolitan.
Is it a genuine police whistle ??
Maybe, maybe not.
What would identify it to be actual police Issue whistle ??
—- the word Police, or the actual police force — make sense ??