Police Or Fire Whistles Police & Fire, General Service Whistles, 2 note cylinderical whistles, two notes tube whistles, GSW's. 40 Examples. By A.Strauss

Police or Fire whistles, The City whistle, The City Police. Bobby Whistles
Secrets revealed , How to Identify Your Whistle (To be cont.)

 A Strauss Copyright © 2009  ( up dated march 12 2012 still at work)

 A Review of these special stamps obn whistles by ; H A Ward, De Courcy, Yates, Barrall. Hudson
German whistle makers, American B & R . and Far east Retailes and Factory Stamps.
Some very rare whistles and some news, different size windows in General service whistles, and
H.A. Ward Diaphragm.

These whistles are a favorite subject of mine, a subject ussually over looked by whistle collectors & little researched,  there are  hundereds of variations made by many
British makers (Yates, Ward, Hudson, Walton, De Courcy , Barrall) and by German , American, Chinese & Indian makers , all belong to the proffesional type whistles reffered to as Genaral service whistles, GSW's, 2 note cylinderical whistles, two notes tube whistles, Bobby whistle or Police whistles and simmilar types.

All these whistles have two main stamp variations;

 A)  Stamps with the words "Police or Fire" or "Fire & Police"
  Stamps with the word "City" included (
"The City police " or "The City Police or Fire" etc.) *

Many times a maker can be identified by the wordin / name of whistle
and by the stamp design and number of lines, I had made a list of these body stamps and still work on it.
 The evolution of the stamp follows somewhat a chronological order , The ciy, The City Police , The city Police or Fire, City police or fire whistle.

There are hundreds of stamp variations and since these were made over a relatively long period they can serve whistle enthusiasts well for a comperative study & research, another aspect is that most do not carry the makers name and it is a challenge to identify the maker
which at times needs  research, comparing and observing, using  small details to identify the maker. NMM is short here for no maker mark.
Some stamps can serve well to Identfy the maker.

Since it is a new subject and has many aspects I will slowly update it, these whistles were all made from the late 1880s to 1930s , and used for various purposes noteably with many factories mainly textile and arms Companies & Laboratories, were dangers of fire hazzards were crucial & by local police and security forces all over the old world.        


H A Ward, "The Standart Police or Fire Whistle", two stamp variations, one with maker's name, one without.  2 Lines Stamp & 4 Lines Stamp. made 1889 to early 1900. Nickel Plated Brass 88mm. superior sound and quality, Ward's top model.
H A Ward 5 line stamp ."City Police or Fire"

H A Ward two different size windows.

Ward L;79 mm D; 15 mm.

H A Ward, (5 lines stamp) on an a very early one  1889 early 1890s, with two windows of different size, one much smaller than the other. The small one 10mm, being the smallest used window in police whistles of this type.
At first I thought it may had been a one of a kind but found a twin and it is an early type H A Ward and the only known british GSW to use this.

So if there windows at different heights ( Coney's Alarm ) there are windows of different size. Usually this is hard to locate since you can not look at both at the same time.

H. A. Ward  Cont.

"The City Police or Fire Whistle" H A Ward or  for B. Lily & Sons, NMM.
Note stamp is away from window. NMM

The above sample is actually stamped H A Ward Bm,
very rare and the only one found with makers name after observing few dozens.

Lot of 6 H. A Ward "The City Police or Fire Whistle" there are differences
 in stamp punches & stamp direction, some carry an extra stamp in the back side.
All made for B Lily & Sons , Birmingham who were located on Barr St. as Hudson,
 and sold whistles by ther makers.
 Lily ordered his whistles with Loop Hole not parallel to Window. or in right angle to window

Examles of Stamp away from Top And Towards top.

H. A. Ward made for B. Lily & Sons with stamp away from window.


" The City Police or fire whistle" ( 3 lines, stamp along body) made by T. Yates for B. Lily & Sons Birmingham. two variations.  
Stamp is away from the top. Note body & Top cap same diameter.

A DeCourcy Whistles below, left to right; "London City Police" , "The City Police or Fire Whistle Patent "(4 lines+ The Milbro), Model # 49  C.1916( rare top variation),
Mid. left The City Police or Fire Whistle" (3 lines + Patent) Model # 33, N.Silver,
"City Police" Early De Courcy 'Pat. App. For' rare stamp.
4 Lines stamp, Steel Top & Body that was platedand nickel plated brass mouthpiece
and last, 6 line stamp 3 lines + Full address.& Patent. 82mm.

A. de Courcy "The City Police or Fire whistle patent" & "The City Whistle Patent" note the carved city as in Hudson's stamps.
 4 line stamp. (NMM) De Courcy made over 50 different whistles with stamp variations , among which are his Models # 50 , 51, 52, 33, and others . Some have his Name & Addres atamped.
I will discuss more of these further later.

The City Police or Fire Whistle " Patent ( 3 lines) De Courcy Model # 152 on theright.
A De Courcy (more to come)

3 Heavy large whistles, NP . may had been made been cast by a different maker possibly B.Lily & Sons who made cast whistles .

"City Police or Fire Whistle" (5 lines stamp) and 3 line stamp . The one in center is cast of unfamiliar bright grey metal. others NP. Brittania metal. the right one has
millimg to mouth piece.

H. A. Ward special whistle. with 3 Different stamps. and a clear view of special diaprgm
B.H.A is still to be found out
may be some Birmingham health Aylum or company.
Stamped between windows H.A.W. Bm in tiny letters.
Also stamped
"The Standart Police or Fire / Whistle"
in Two lines, The first four words stamped in one line all around the tube.
The only stamp of this kind met with, Below
" Parker Winder & Achurch Ltd." 
and B H A  above windows. only one known to exist.
 The diaphragm has two parallel Flaps extenstions of partition going thru disk then these fold in oposite directions . ( As common in tin toys)
B. H. A. is still a riddle as to intials  

The loop is almost as wide as the De Courcy stamped B. H. A show that the client who ordered for B H A liked his loops a certain way.
This whistle is missing the mouthpiece , 72mm.

Above "The Standart Police or Fire" L;  86 mm By De Courcy 
Diaphragm Patent 3725 of 1906.   Partition has curved stamp, Patent.
NP Brass & The heaviest loop observed on a GSW, 8 mm wide. by 5 mm all aroun circumference.


German; " City Police And Fire Whistle  Goolab No. 13. (5 line stamp), Made in Germany,These German whistles have a top that is made to a De Courcy Patent. & the No. 13 Model appears on some Hudson made whistles as well. (NMM) Made by Calura Germany.
 German, 6 line stamp City police... Rangoon. Made by Calura, note the loop simmilar to Decourcy's patent.

German, body made of different uncommon metal "Fire or Police Grundex Shanghai" ( Textile Fac.) 1910 - 1920s, Calura, Germany.


"Best Police And Fire Whistle made in germany Imported By Textile Productions "
with Trade mark logo below windows depicting a winged globe. NMM. 79 mm.

German made by Calura, "City police and  Fire Whistle ( 3 Lines) +
A.S Jeewa Rangoon, No 13 Made in Germany. NMM.
L;83 mm. Tube Diameter;16 mm.

Intersting to note that Calura used the  two piece top,
Top / loop pattern That is identical to A De Courcy Patent # 101303 of 1916.

B & R Made in U.S.A.

American , Made by B & R, this one is stamped "The Metropolitan Fire or Police Whistle B & R" 6 lines stamp, earlier and rarer variation of the more commonly found B & R.
Other B & R variations are
"City Police & Fire Whistle" (5 lines, NMM)
" B & R City Police & Fire Whistle" (6 Lines). A Later made one and 2 mm
The mark & is actually the figure 8 on all The B & R whistles. 
A general rule of thumb; ones marked "Fire or Police" are less often met with, most marked "Police or Fire".


J Hudson & Co.  
made numeruos variations and could use a different entry,
below is an early 1885 to 1890s whistle stamped
"The City Patent Whistle" inside a circle, Diaphragm disk stamped "patent" .
Solid one piece cast top as early Hudson's.
This stamp was the inspiration for many cheaper whistles made in India which evetually led Hudson to make models of lesser quality to compete.

Two Pre WWI Indian made whistles , close up on stamps.
Both marked " The City Police whistle".

"City Police or Fire City Whistle, Patent " Back Stamped H Adams, Diaphragm stamped Hudson's Patent .For Patent 19700/1898, Tines towards top. Rare.

J B Orock & Co. New York,
Made by Hudson

Pair of 1920s City Police or Fire Made by Hudson for CTW's' (C.T.Willet)

Hudson 1930's "Police Whistle" No. 13

J. Barrall

Has made Many examples of City Police Whistle, of High quality
See some here
some are very rare.
NMM, "City Police", Unique bubble top and round stamp. made by J. Barrall, Birminghamm . Below same whistle a made of NP brass with standart loop. NMM , J Barrall.

R. A Walton
R A Walton "City Police" Round Stamp,
Patent No. 10492, J.J Harley Ld. Liverpool.

To be Cont.
* The answer to the Metropolitan

                                                        Comments and questions are welcome.

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Whistle museum A.Strauss All rights reserved no part of this web page is to be used without special permission from the author.

Whistle Museum,  A.Strauss Copyright © 2009.


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  • 4/19/2010 9:04 AM Joe Favata wrote:
    Great article. Very informative.
    Reply to this
  • 10/26/2010 6:06 PM David wrote:
    no mention of Merryweather fire whistles?
    Reply to this
  • 12/3/2010 12:27 PM Bob wrote:
    I came across your website after finding a whistle in a
    box of items from my childhood. I remember purchasing the whistle 40 years ago in a junk/antique
    shop while on vacation. It is similar to(but not exactly
    the same as) the whistles pictured in your article.If I
    were to infer from the descriptions accompanying the whistles pictured, I would guess that it is a later
    whistle--probably DeCourcy-made but Hudson-stamped.It is silver in color(inexpensively-plated brass)with the words"THE CITY"(above) and "WHISTLE"(below) stamped in a circular pattern, and the word"PATENT" stamped straight across the middle within(enclosed by) these other words. There is no enclosing circle. The
    mouthpiece is most similar to that of the middle whistle in the photo of "three heavy large whistles,
    possibly B.Lily & Sons".The loop for the attachment of a lanyard is unlike any of those in your photos.
    It appears to be inexpensively fabricated, being either a loop stamped from sheet or a loop formed
    from thin cut bar stock. This loop is slightly asymmetrical and possibly suaged to the whistle top(not one-piece or welded).
    Reply to this
  • 11/21/2011 4:04 AM bill iaderosa wrote:
    iwhich i have had about 30 years have a b&r city police&fire whistle which i have had for about 30 years when my grandfather passed away i got it i would like to know the value of it if you can tell me thanks bill iaderosa
    Reply to this
  • 4/11/2012 3:27 PM Bert Cohen wrote:
    B8cP city police8c fire whistle. Curious to know where and when it ws made.
    Reply to this
  • 5/24/2012 5:19 PM chris wrote:
    I wonder if you can tell me about my whistle,it is marked as "Provisional Protection.No10492 HIATT & Co Masshouse Lane Birmingham.City Police.
    I am interested to learn more about it,date,use,rarity,potential value if possible etc.
    Many thanks,Chris
    Reply to this
  • 6/3/2012 11:06 AM WHISTLE MUSEUM wrote:
    Hello Chris sorry for delay ,
    The whistle was made by H A Walton provisional protection for patent was  c 1898 onward
    ,see article here about Walton the whistle manufacturer and City Police whistles.
    More details would need a photo.
    Potential value is 25 GBP to 100

    Reply to this
  • 6/14/2012 9:36 PM Claire Davis wrote:
    I have a 'THE CITY PATENT WHISTLE' which I found in a box amongst old family photos. It is exactly the same as your J Hudson & Co one with the circle/oval around the wording. I was always lead to believe it was used by my Great Grandfather during the war as an ARP Warden, however, this doesnt match with your dates for the whistle. Would you be able to tell me what this particular whistle was used for? and if it is possible it was still used during the war? Many thanks. Claire
    Reply to this
  • 9/21/2012 10:57 AM chris hyland wrote:
    wow i am absolutely amazed at the beauty of this collection and what quality whistles,i have just discovered these delightful little things,i have been looking up pommy whistles while still beautiful,they pale in the light of Americian ones.Well done thanks for that.
    Reply to this
  • 9/22/2012 9:48 PM Tony Helmy wrote:
    i have a one and i want sell it connect me at tony_tony3720@yahoo.com
    Reply to this
  • 2/17/2013 11:43 AM Debbie Parrish wrote:
    I had a dark blue plastic whistle much like these thin cylinder style whistles, given to me, I believe, my father's brother, when I was a little girl. He was a police officer in Iowa until he retired in the 60's. I see no mention of the cheaper plastic ones.
    Reply to this

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