Bakelite Escargots with Metal side plate a comparative study, U.S.A made and England . A Strauss (At work to be cont.)

Bakelite escargots with a stamped metal plate insert to the side.

A.Strauss , Copyright © 2009.

Bakelite* escargots with metal plate inserts at the  side  are all Glasgow type escargots made in
England and in the U.S.A ,
The side plate insert is applied to the right hand one side of the whistle
(N.S.Meyer N.Y is an exeption, shows on the left side as well).

Used mainly by sporting goods & Arms companies as well as by British railway and Transportation companies, also by some police forces and colleges.

The big advantage of Bakelite made  whistles was that in cold weather ( Sub zero) they would not get stuck to the lips or fingers as the metal ones. they were very sturdy when  plastic was stil of lesser strenght  than  hard plastic  types made later.

The metal inserts are of  different designs which makes it possible to know where made.
The ones made in England are all made by J. Hudson & Co. , And are stamped Acmeoid. Made From 1926 to late 1940s , ( I had come across few rare ones that may had been made earlier).

*Stamped in 2 ways
1) Early stamps ;
Below window " The Acme Thunderer" , and Hudson Monogram on the underside of the whistle.
2) later models ;
 "The Acme Thunderer made in England" and no monogram on the underside.
Note; All the whistles seen here are stamped the Acme Thunderer exept for the USA  & Mexican made ones.

* Metal plates of few kinds but the circular ones with four pins have the pins pointing at
north , east, south and west, or 12 O'clock 3, 6 and 9.

* Colors; Hudson made these in Black Brown Orange & white The last two colors are rare.

* The D & M one & the older IverJohnson have a longer beak , about 3 mm longer  simmilar to USA made ones and are not as wide, a different mould was used for these and it is certainly the earlier one, might even be earlier than 1926.

Because of way made the cup and the material  there are  1 mm up to 2 mm diviations in measurments in same models. ( To be cont.)


* Smooth,  no stamps on bakelite .

* Size; American made ones are not as wide, But Longer.

* Do not have a circle pattern sunk, on the side opposite to the metal plate insert.  

*  A wider and thinner tooth grip on the lower lip.

* Color; Black or Brown.

* Metal plates are all of the circular with 4 pins pattern, inserted in a way that tyhe pins show the hours of roughly 11 O'clock 1, 5 and 7 O'clock.

* Some have "Made in the U.S.A" stamped on the metal plate, (See Goldsmith # 12).

** Foot note
Barrel end is 28.50 mm and accurate on the USA samples I inspected.
L; is 61mm and varies by less than a mm.

 In general The U.S.A. made ones seem to be much harder to find.

The metal plate inserts are all Aluminum or nickel silver.

Early Hudson's Oval shape metal plate insert L; 60.81mm W; 22.55 mm Bareel Diameter,; 28.50 mm
This oval plate is the only one noted by the author. seems to be a very early one or pre 1926.


Later made Hudson, L;57;72 mm W;23.09 mm Barrel Diameter ; 27.63 mm

D & M Sporting goods very rare, It is an Acme Thunderer of a larger size.

Montreal Police L 61 mm W; 22.65 mm  B; 27.64 MM


The J Hudson monogram on the underside of  the  earlier  bakelite whistles.
Reach two variations above and below Both made by Hudson.


Reach made by Hudson round plate with one pin and a strip below round plate,
the first the more common  of the circular  pattern.

Hudson round plate with four pins  angled at 12 o'clock 3, 6 & 9 points, earlier date and scarcer.

                                        Folsom made by Hudson.

P R R , pensilvania Rail Road made in the U.S.A by an unidentified company. Round Aluminum Plate with four pins. Note, cap shape and the direction of pin pointing.

Two Spalding's, The One above is a U.S.A made one, Below a Hudson, Acme Thunderer.

Made in Great Britain, Spalding chaned hands in 40's to a british owner ship.

U.S.A made Spalding

American style insert 4 Pins at 7 11 1 and 5 o'clock pouints.Goldsmith No. 12

Goldsmith # 12 with round four pins plate.

A Trio of GOLDSMITH # 12, variations Rectangular metal plate with pins,
a U.S.A made one and a circular plate Hudson made.

B R British railway, Rectangular plate with 4 pins at the plate's corners, Acme Thunderer.
This  rectangular plates are m,ostly met with british railway whistles and were issued to
British railway companies and transportain companies  in different regions. B.R. (S) , B .R(N) etc.

Another Hudson's plate variation , 3 Pins , The Acme Thunderer, Lincoln Training college.

On the right a U.S. A made one, note longer beak  and not so visible but a longer and thinner 
lower tooth grip.

Left Acme Thunderer, Right a U.S.A one, US made Do not have a circle pattern sunk, on the side opposite to the metal plate insert. 

J Hudson & Co.Plastic made with Aluminum insert, Black Plastic , smaller size.
C .I. A Central inteligence Agency  1970's, The Acme Thunderer Made in england .

Some Stamps on metal plates of Bakelite whistles

D & M Sporting goods
Iver Johnson
Goldsmith #12
N. S. Meyer Inc.
A. G. Spalding & Bros
Lowe & Campbell
Horace Partridge
Lincoln Training College

Stamps on U.S made whistles

Goldsmith #12

Acme Rectangular plates                    

BR (S) British railway southern region  (and other regions)
LTE  London Transport Execution
Goldsmith # 12

In Mexico  some guilded metal insert were made during the second half of the 20th century .
L.A Traffic Police with two romantic Angels.

" see other entries for Bakelite since 1907.
**  Cap is of a different shape curves inward, no hump, but this is to be found on some Hudson made ones as well.

whistle museum , A Strauss ( All rights reserved). Copyright © 2009 .


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  • 7/28/2010 1:14 AM Jackie S. Gibson wrote:
    Interesting use of bakelite; I only knew of its use in jewelry.
    Reply to this
  • 4/16/2012 9:54 AM Lachlann wrote:
    Hi there,

    I have a bakelite escargot Acme Thunderer, stamped 'made in England', with no monogram stamp underneath. It has a metal plate, similar in shape to the CIA and BCT ones above. the design has two birds facing away from each other, one raised, the other depressed into the metal.

    It is in good nick, with just some wear from teeth on the beak, a small hairline crack, and a small chip.

    I can't find anything online like it. If you could help shed any light on it, that would be most appreciated.
    Reply to this
  • 2/12/2013 9:06 AM Glen wrote:
    I have a bakelite Hudson whistle which has the Reach insert, but the insert is entirely circular, that is, without any side bits to it. Glen
    Reply to this
  • 1/8/2014 9:31 PM Avner Strauss wrote:
    Hi, Sounds interesting. I do not remember if I did answer the comment but I would be glad to see a photo kindly send to
    and I will add it to the post if O.K
    Kind Regards.
    Reply to this

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