Whistles have been a part of history for hundreds of years. They were at one time a common way of communicating at a distance, as well as an alarm or to sound for help. They have been used by many such as referees to signal a decision, to command soldiers into battle, by shepherds to control dogs, to hail taxicabs and to direct trains to start journey's. The police and fire services have used them to signal for assistance and to conduct operations, and they have been issued to staff at mental asylums.
Whistles fall into many collecting categories. During the "Golden Age" of whistle making which was from the early 1860's to the 1930's and beyond, many different patterns were produced. From Beauforts to Escargot to Round to Tin, whistles are categorized by their size and shape as well as their markings.
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