Courtesy of Martin Gilchrist, whistles have been a part of life for many people. They were at one time a common way of communicating at a distance, as well as an alarm and cry for assistance. They had been used by referees to signal a decision, to command soldiers into battle, by shepherds to control dogs, to hail taxicabs and to direct trains to start journeys. The police and fire services have used them to signal for assistance and to conduct operations. Whistles fall into many collecting areas and it is a subject in its own right. During the "Golden Age" of whistle making, 1860's to the 1930's and years later, many different patterns were produced which now presents to the enthusiast rich fields to explore.