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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:15 pm 
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Thank you so much for sharing. This is a fabulous forum. I appreciate everyones input.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:38 pm 
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To my surprise another Penny Whistle has become available on eBay. They list it as an Antique Civil War era flute. And the description is as follows:

For auction is a civil war era flute or fife type instrument with six holes. Flutes used in the military are of a type with a hole in the top where breath is blown across the hole. With this one, breath is blown in from the mouthpiece and holes are closed off to make different notes. The top near the mouthpiece is embossed with U.S., an old style eagle, and an E in a circle. There is also a jagged vvvvvvv above the eagle and two more of the same lines on the other end of the instrument, It is nickel over steel. It is 10 1/2" long and has no maker's mark.

It has a gold appearance in the photos and I would post them, but I don't know how to do that. My daughter did the previous photos. It does have the same eagle and US markings. It appears there was damage to the mouthpiece and at some point it appears there was some sort of soldering to repair it. I also did not see a wooden plug on the end. Is there always a plug? Is there music for an E flageolet? Thanks to all of you, I am really interested? Please answer my questions and let me k ow what you think.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:49 pm 
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Could be brass, but the seller says nickel plated. Nickel on steel I suppose is possible, but old instruments of this type were usually nickel on brass.

Wouldn't mind one for the Museum, but the price would have to be rather lower or the instrument in better condition. For $85 and what looks like gobs of solder all over it, I think I'd pass!

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:55 pm 
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Here's the listing:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Civil- ... 3030998058

Quote:
For auction is a civil war era flute or fife type instrument with six holes. Flutes used in the military are of a type with a hole in the top where breath is blown across the hole. With this one, breath is blown in from the mouthpiece and holes are closed off to make different notes.

That makes it a whistle.

What1cand0 wrote:
I also did not see a wooden plug on the end. Is there always a plug?

If it is to function, for that design there will be a plug. If the plug has fallen out the whistle won't work, but a skilled hand could replace it. If the whistle's head is damaged, even with the plug it may not work, but repair may be possible.

It is common for whistles of that era to have lead plugs, so if it has a lead plug, don't play it. If you really want to play it, have a wooden plug made to replace the lead one.

I personally agree with whistlecollector: I just couldn't shell out $85 for it in that condition. They can't be that rare.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Thanks for your input. I appreciate your help.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:01 am 
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It almost looks like someone put in a new 'ramp' or blade (my terminology banks aren't activated yet at this hour of the morning), soldered it in place and perhaps filed down the bump of solder a bit. Which would explain the bulge around the window. I say that with the caveat that the solder on the side of the tube may create a (false) impression of there being a seam of sorts in the top picture above.

It can mean an attempt was made to make it play better, or a major repair was needed. But whistles of that age (or any age really) may or may not be great players, it's always the luck of the draw and you won't know until you blow into it. Whatever the way, I agree $85 is silly money for a whistle like that, even one that is pristine and plays well.

Image

Image

For comparison, whistleheads of similar style and vintage:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:28 am 
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I probably wouldnt play it but add it to my civil war display. Thanks for posting the pictures. Hopefully someone will have additional input.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:32 am 
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Quote:
I probably wouldnt play it but add it to my civil war display.


I have no idea what make me think that. Hang on..



Quote:
Is there music for an E flageolet?

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:45 am 
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The owner says that it does work but only the first two holes seem to modify the sound. Would that have anything to do with the soldering?


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:54 am 
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What1cand0 wrote:
The owner says that it does work but only the first two holes seem to modify the sound. Would that have anything to do with the soldering?


More like the owner doesn't know how to, to borrow a phrase, govern these ventages with his fingers and thumb. In other words, air is probably leaking from under his fingers.

Mr.Gumby wrote:
It almost looks like someone put in a new 'ramp' or blade (my terminology banks aren't activated yet at this hour of the morning), soldered it in place and perhaps filed down the bump of solder a bit. Which would explain the bulge around the window.


I concur.

On looking closely, that ramp looks an awful lot like the ramp you see on lead organ pipes. I wonder if we have the work of some apprentice organ builder here? Even though the solder is lumpy, the actual repair, with that nicely bevelled ramp, is pretty cute work.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:26 pm 
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I have a tin whistle, actually made of tin, rolled and crimped, with a square wooden block that forms the mouthpiece, similar to the one pictured here.
Image

It's a reproduction, which I bought in the gift shop at Fort Robinson State Park, near Crawford Nebraska. Doesn't have an eagle or any markings. I'm not an expert, but I believe it would look quite at home in a reenactment camp or the like.

It is kind of interesting to play. Basically, it takes a while to warm up. The block doesn't fit tightly until it absorbs some moisture and swells a bit. Before that, it's kind of breathy.

A tin whistle, also known as a penny whistle, or flageolet, is an end-blown, fipple type instrument. The most common type available today are made of brass, or chromed metal of some sort, often with a plastic mouthpiece/fipple. Higher end models may be made of various types of wood, sometimes with metal ferrules and the mouthpiece made out of some other material.

If I understand correctly, a fife is a transverse-blown instrument, similar to a piccolo, but usually without keys. Not really very similar to a whiste at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:24 am 
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The Original Clarkes Tin Whistle is exactly the same as your picture above.

A fife is similar to a piccolo except that it is made to play in the higher registers, rather than the lower ones, so that the sound carries further, as was used by the military of various countries.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:20 am 
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I remain skeptical about the "Civil War era" claim. I believe they played tin whistles and flageolets in the Civl War, just doubt that's one of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:29 am 
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I don't have any actual information about tin whistles in the Civil War. However, Clarke's original tin whistle was patented in 1843, so it's a definite possibility.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:36 pm 
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You might inquire further with a US Civil War music historian, or somebody with US Army instrument making/repair experience.

https://www.youtube.com/user/usarmyband

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6QpdhM5tAM

Or ask for where else to seek information on the civil war whistle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVWRzO2_r_Q


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