Don't you love the feel of those old metal whistles ?? I might take a chance here and say that one just doesn't get that feel from a comparably old PLASTIC whistle, huh ?? Why is that ??
Interesting subject really. I am no metallurgist for sure. I can't even get all the info figured out about oxides, carbonates and sulfides, residues left on the surface of our whistles reacting ( i.e. oxidation ) to the atmosphere surrounding them. BUT this I do know — Makes them look ( and feel ? ) really old — and for some reason it is comforting. Aged, but steady mates they are haaaaaar ( pirate talk ).
Apparently the coating actually helps preserve the metal, instead of just eating it away. Who knew ?? Another thing I learned is that wooden ones, horn, antler etc. get patina too. Well I kinda knew it, just never made the connection. Wooden whistles get darker with age too !!
Yet here's another thing about patina. It caaaan refer to the surface texture that can result from normal use — over a period of time. NO, I don't mean anything like the mouthpieces turning into some strange kinda patina due to someones lips being in contact, that would be just toooooo weird. But those oils and chemicals from our hands wear into those old timers and it also affects the FEEEEEEEL … Wow, closure !!!
So, it is the age, plus the air, plus the oils from our hands and well of course the type of metal ( and I might add the quality of that particular metal ) that adds up to that sometimes marvelous and yet enigmatic patina.