To really help in your research about whistles, here is a SPOTLIGHT devoted to where to go and what to do. There is a lot of digging involved, but the more diggers, the more will come out don't you think ?? This SPOTLIGHT will serve in the interim, while we are working out pictures for the upcoming ones. So there will be no pictures here !!! We will try to keep it brief, but there is a lot to cover. We will cover:
- GOOGLE PATENTS
- AUCTION SITES
The best place to start is to have BOOKS. There are three written by Martyn Gilchrist. All are out of print at this time.
1) Collecting Police Whistles and Similar Types by Martyn Gilchrist and Simon Topman. Hardbound. This is a comprehensive reference work. Features include:
- Life size pictures and plenty of them
- Histories of manufacturers
- A standard is set with rankings of MP1 – 24 (Metropolitan Police) with allowance for variations
- Comprehensive lists of stamps taken from records and collectors — of each manufacturer
- Lists of patents and registrations
- Drawings of components for identifying the makers
- Comments next to the pictures that actually doubles the information from the main text
Although this book concentrates on London Metropolitan Police whistles it accomplishes two things: it identifies accurately the timing of production which helps set a time line to compare with; it differentiates POLICE WHISTLES from General Service Whistles. Accompanying this are all the other introductions to other manufacturers of the time.
2) More Whistles by Martyn Gilchrist steps away from concentrating on police and other tube shaped whistles and brings into focus several categories such as the following:
- escargot shaped
- extractors and more ( of course )
3) Whistles by Martyn Gilchrist is an introductory booklet with some obscure pix not repeated — well worth getting and studying. This one is still available on line at Amazon and other book outlets. There are other books to research to be sure, but the pages are few in each book. Police books, collectors books, fire brigade books. Books with lists like how many asylums there were in the UK. Railway books. The list now gets thicker but more difficult to sift through !!!
Another tremendous help is to find OLD TRADE CATALOGUES by the original dealers.That would be by the actual manufacturer OR the retailer that sold for them. These help in tracking down different models ( and model numbers ) and history of the whistle maker, as well as location of business addresses and varieties, sizes, and materials. For example: Walton catalog of c.1901 (only made whistles for 6 years). This catalogue is known to exist & would have all the whistles that he was currently making, along with model numbers.
Third is websites, Facebook, Etsy eBay. When using websites, always get permission to use anything from that site that is copyrighted. Always look for bibliography on the research stated ( or that such information may be taken from without permission by the original writer ). One also needs to be cautious about conjecture or guess work. Real research has to follow up hunches of course, but before they go to print as fact there needs to be documented evidence. .
An outstanding source of information is to go to GOOGLE PATENTS and look for whistle patents and registrations. We have searched through many times, taking personal copies and studying for details. Google has made it so much easier to search patents in the USA. There is a wealth of information only keys away. Unfortunately, European research and especially UK research by this method is still quite arduous. Perhaps in the future ?? There is much there to be shared about patents and registrations.
In addition to catalogues there are ADVERTISEMENTS. Single or multiple pages, especially dated ones are helpful. You want to get the source of the pages which helps in the hunt for documentation.
Other COLLECTORS are a fantastic source of information !!!! Try to write when you can. Share information and things will snowball for you both. Even the newest collector may have a whistle unknown before.
AUCTION SITES like eBay and others are also a source to see many more whistles than you would normally come across. Sometimes the information that the seller has found helps. However a word of caution: some sellers will quote whatever sells the whistle !!! Always check for documentation before taking it as gospel. Even a reference to a website may be unsubstantiated. Try to resist COPY and PASTE alone.
Keep PICTURES in a file for reference. They are all copyrighted if taken from the net or if sent to you by others, so you can't share without permission. However for a personal data base they are indispensible. You will be surprised how often you will refer to them, cross checking and building your own files. There you have it !!! We hope this helps in your efforts to raise whistle collecting to its well earned height !!! Please feel free to send any suggestions and corrections we need to make. Sometimes the subject gets too close and we miss things or jump to conclusions. There is no pride here, so give it to us straight !!! Otherwise, we look forward to hearing from you and your research.
Posted December 4, 2012