Rare American Police Whistles, O’REILLY v. BENJAMIN HARRIS CO., Inc. American cylindrical whistles discussed in Federal Court 1918 with samples.. At work ,A Strauss

As an intro to an article in the making ; American Police whistles Timeline, & Patents, Cylinedrical 2 notes whistles GSW's Bobby whistles
we bring this detective work  going back 90 years in a time machine we bring almost note for note ,
a document of great importance, the serious gudge  and expert seemed to really go into details.
This is the first documents from which I learnt about the BENJAMIN HARRIS CO., Inc.an American 
whistle manufacturer.  For more details about O'reilley's patent & whistles see;

Regards A.Strauss                                                                                                  A. Strauss Copyright © 2008

(District Court, S. D. New York. January 26, 1918.)
Psrnxrs @:¤328—INF'BINGEMENT·—I)0LICE Wmsrnn.
The O’Reil1y patent, No. 1,094,006, for a police whistle, held not infringed.
In Equity. Suit by joseph _]. O’Reilly against the
Benjamin Harris Company, Incorporated. Decree for defendant.
Affirmed 259 Fed. 578, —— C. C. A. —-—.
Frank M. Franklin, of New York City, for complainant.
Max D. Ordmann, of New York City, for defendant.
AUGUSTUS N. HAND, District judge.
This is a suit for infringement of patent No. 1,094,006 to joseph O’Reilly for a policeman’s whistle.

I find nothing in the prior art which bears strongly
on complainant’s device. In the patent to Burt, No. 1,002,493, and to
Hatch, No. 649,576, different sounds are produced by the vibration of
columns of air in chambers of different sizes. These patents would
bear upon the defendant’s rather than the complainant’s whistle. The
latter produces different notes by the vibration of reeds of different
“ sizes. This is done either by having the disk, as appears to be the
case in complainant’s device, not perfectly circular in form, or by
having_ it not exactly centered in the whistle.

The complaitant whistle .
* The Chief whistle Pat.No. 1,094,006 to joseph O’Reilly, Apr.21 1914.
The Chief whistle like some earlier H.A.Ward british whistles mentioned have windows of different sizes.

The expert has testified that a very slight difference in the orifice
between the edge of the disk and the inside of the whistle will make
· a substantial difference in sound. Though this is not disputed, the
trouble with his position is that the difference in the size of the
orifice on each side of the disk is so slight in defendant’s whistle that
it is difficult to perceive, while in complainant’s whistle, both as shown
in the patent and as exhibited at the trial, there is a substantial and
appreciable difference
The defandant

*As far as I know this was the defandant whistle, made by Benjamin Harris Co. Inc.
was that one later made for winchester whistles see 1923 catalogue ? (to be cont.)

Another B. Harris whistle, sample with a flaw ? at window.

The expert insisted that the difference in the
size of the chambers in defendar1t’s whistle was not sufficient to create
the difference in sound, and argued that it must therefore be due to
differences in the size of the reed, in spite of the fact that such differ—
ences appeared very slight, if existent at all. He did not, however,
demonstrate to me that the shortening of one of the chambers in de-
fendant’s whistle caused by the tongue when supplemented by the
narrowing caused by the protruding into it of the convex side of the
longitudinal partition would not together make a difference in the rel-
ative sizes of the two chambers to account for the differences in sounds.
Furthermore, when defendant’s whistle was cut down above the
· tongue, so as to leave each chamber of equal length, and the thumb was
used as a stop, the variance between the two sounds of the whistle
was apparently much lessened as compared with that of the normal
whistle. This would indicate that the diminution in size of one of
the sound chambers, and not difference in size of the reeds, caused the
duplex sound in defendant’s whistle.
Under these circumstances it is....
.... held not infringed.

Whistle museum, A. Strauss Copyright © 2008


What did you think of this article?

  • No trackbacks exist for this post.
Page: 1 of 1
  • 6/14/2009 9:09 PM Natalie wrote:
    Can anyone tell me what company manufactures Balilla whistles? Thank you.

    Hello Natalie,
    Glad you have asked, BALILA stamped escargot whistles made of nickel plated brass and later of plastic as well ,
    were made for sports military and traffic police in ITALY
    Made at least from the mid 1920 and much later , by A. G. Baldi  From Firenze , Italy, If my memory serves me right, I should recheck my notes and whistles to be accurate ,
    I believe they may still be active. Balila was also the name of the boy & Girl scouts in Italy.

    Regards Avner

    Reply to this
  • 12/18/2009 5:39 PM kimberly Nacey wrote:
    I have a rare Constabulary Police Whistle stamped on the front "The Metropolitan" it is nickle on brass, believe it to be from1887 to 1923. The Langyard ring is in the center of the whistle, just passed the mouth piece & is 4" in length. Could you tell me the history of it, why the langyard ring is centered & not at the end of the whistle like all the rest. Thank you Kim
    Reply to this
  • 6/30/2010 7:02 PM Avner Strauss wrote:
    Hi Kim Just saw your question :-)
    It is hard to tell with out seeing but I believe you have a model that has a large finger ring, some were made to larger to fit when wearing hand gloves , while riding a horse or directing traffic .you may send a picture.
    Regards Avner
    Reply to this
  • 12/6/2013 6:32 PM rafal wrote:
    How can I contact the Balilla whistle company? I tried to look it up but can't find any contact. Please help.
    Reply to this

Page: 1 of 1
Leave a comment

Submitted comments are subject to moderation before being displayed.


 Email (will not be published)


Your comment is 0 characters limited to 3000 characters.