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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:12 am 
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What1cand0 wrote:
Original Civil War Union Eagle Coat Size Button Non-Excavated 1861-1865 Certified By The Gettysburg Museum Of History

https://www.gettysburgmuseumofhistory.c ... history-2/



I've no doubt that image of an eagle was used in the Civil War. I'm just skeptical that it would have been stamped on whistles sold to civil war soldiers. As far as I know the Union wasn't issuing whistles to soldiers. I suppose a maker of tin whistles could have machined up a die for stamping whistles fairly quickly and gotten it into production, but it's not a trivial or inexpensive undertaking. At the start of the war nobody thinks it's going to last anywhere near as long as it does, so it would be a while before someone realized it was going to last for years, and a while before someone wants to ramp up production.

If somebody plays the whistle they likely already had one. Would they buy one as they marched off? Maybe. Would a peddler have come through camp selling union branded tin whistles? Possibly. But everything happens more slowly then. It takes more time to ramp up production, more time to get objects into the supply chain. As mentioned civil war iconography showed up a lot on on children's toys marketed well after the Civil War, and whistles would have been close to the "toy" end of the instrument spectrum. It could be from the Civil War, I'm just skeptical. It feels wrong to me. I'm a US historian for a living, specializing in the period from 1865-1920, for what that's worth, but I certainly could be wrong and would happily defer to a Civil War specialist


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:50 am 
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What1cand0 wrote:
Original Civil War Union Eagle Coat Size Button Non-Excavated 1861-1865 Certified By The Gettysburg Museum Of History

https://www.gettysburgmuseumofhistory.c ... history-2/


I am surprised to see that website selling nazi memorabilia and think it is quite an unsavoury business.

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:06 am 
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whistlecollector wrote:
PB+J wrote:
Geez there's no doubt whistles are intended as diatonic instruments. I mean generations have a label on them: "D, Bb, Eb, C etc." That's because the company that makes them thinks they're diatonic.


All that means is the instrument is in a certain key.

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You can get more out of them--even I can, and I'm not very good. But insisting they are "really" chromatic is kind of like insisting an airplane is "really" a bird. A mountain dulcimer, for example, is intended as a diatonic instrument. You can get more out of it but you pretty quickly just get into "why not just play a guitar."


Poor analogy: woodwind instruments, and in particular the simple system instruments, are not built that way. I get where you're coming from, but I read the claim that "whistles can only play in two keys" or "whistles can't play accidentals" or "whistles are diatonic" often enough that the response by now is automatic. I'm not "insisting" that they're chromatic. They are chromatic by nature.

(Sorry Steve, too late!)


Normal tin whistles are not chromatic by nature, no matter how often you repeat that. If they were you'd have the same fingering for accidentals on all of them. That's why I mentioned the blues harp. Those are even called diatonic. Because they are. Even if you can "force" them with tricks like bending to play chromatically. A diatonic blues harp is even worse than a whistle because it has some notes missing so you cannot even play a normal scale on them without bending the notes. A recorder is chromatic - therefore the fingering for sharps and flats is pretty much the same on all of them (not mentioning German and baroque system). On whistles with a thicker barrel you can use cross fingering to get all notes pretty consistently. On others you can half hole. Whistles are by nature diatonic instruments that can be played chromatically. Nobody ever said "you can only play two keys on a whistle". What does that even mean "chromatic by nature"? If I need a lot of half holing and cross fingering (which differs from whistle to whistle) to play chromatically how does that mean it is "chromatic by nature"? Makes no sense IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:36 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
What1cand0 wrote:
Original Civil War Union Eagle Coat Size Button Non-Excavated 1861-1865 Certified By The Gettysburg Museum Of History

https://www.gettysburgmuseumofhistory.c ... history-2/


I am surprised to see that website selling nazi memorabilia and think it is quite an unsavoury business.


The Civil War is an industry in the US. it remains politically charged to this day. I believe you have some idea of how this might play out over there? When I'm in Cork I plan to see the Collins memorial, for example. I read Ernie O'Malley's The Singing Flame not long ago

The Gettysburg battlefield is a moving and extremely important place, but it's famously plagued by "history kitsch." The battlefield itself speaks more clearly than most to strategy--you can see clearly where Lee was and why Pickett's charge was a terrible idea, and where Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, hero of professors everywhere, initiated his famous bayonet charge and why it might have worked. But it's also IMHO marred by lots and lots of gaudy 19th century monuments put up by each individual state and then individual units in both armies.

Image

The town itself is architecturally attractive, looking like a typical PA town, but it's filled to the brim with junky historical gimcracks and dubious and inexplicable recreations of as you see, Nazi junk, WWI junk, Viet vet stuff, revolutionary war fakery, etc. It can still be a very moving experience to visit Gettysburg but I have to wish it had been accorded a little more dignity. The Antietam Battlefield, where Thomas Francis Meagher's Irish Brigade was decimated, got less attention early on, so while it has a lot of kind of miscellaneous monuments (one to Meagher, for example) their smaller and the site overall has a lot more dignity and restraint. The National Park service is always debating whether or not to remove some of the more unfortunate monuments

Like this one, where Rebel General Longstreet looks like one of the dwarves from Lord of the Rings

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:41 am 
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Quote:
The Civil War is an industry in the US. it remains politically charged to this day.


Well, I wasn't referring to the Civil War but to the Nazi memorabilia they sell through the site. 'Support your museum' , buy an original SS collar tab. Charming.

Quote:

Top Rated Products In Our Store:

- Original German Mother’s Cross Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter In Gold Certified

-Original WWII German Scarce Waffen SS Collar Tab Certified By The Gettysburg Museum Of History

-Original WWII Era German NSDAP (Nazi) Party NSDAP 1936 NATIONAL PARTY DAY BADGE

etc

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:17 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
The Civil War is an industry in the US. it remains politically charged to this day.


Well, I wasn't referring to the Civil War but to the Nazi memorabilia they sell through the site. 'Support your museum' , buy an original SS collar tab. Charming.

Quote:

Top Rated Products In Our Store:

- Original German Mother’s Cross Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter In Gold Certified

-Original WWII German Scarce Waffen SS Collar Tab Certified By The Gettysburg Museum Of History

-Original WWII Era German NSDAP (Nazi) Party NSDAP 1936 NATIONAL PARTY DAY BADGE

etc



yes, did you see where i wrote "The town itself is architecturally attractive, looking like a typical PA town, but it's filled to the brim with junky historical gimcracks and dubious and inexplicable recreations of as you see, Nazi junk, WWI junk, Viet vet stuff, revolutionary war fakery, etc"

There's a significant subset of the population for whom "history equals wars and stuff" and "wars and stuff are cool" and they don't really care which war and what was being fought for. We live with this as best we can.

The site you linked to is a private site--it's not part of the national park service and enjoys no government support or endorsement. Historians and the Park Service have often debated whether or not Gettysburg should be "policed' to some extent, but generally commitment to free speech prevails.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:33 am 
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What1cand0 wrote:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Rare-Vintage-Antique-Civil-War-Relic-Eagle-Button-Appomattox-Camp-with-Case/332599119904

I dont know if you can get this picture, but this button shows the insignia of the Union enlisted men in the Civil War. The eagle is exactly the same as on the whistle. So, i decided to make an offer on the whistle i was looking at with the rough soldering job. I offered a lot less thn he was asking (thanks to your advice) and he accepted. So my first whistle for mt Civil War display is on it's way. I am sure when I get it, i will have a lot more questions. Thanks to all of you for sharing,

Jane

Yes, that's the eagle I was referencing early on in thread. Markings/stamps on various military issued items. Here is a cap device with the eagle:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/CIVIL-WAR-HARD ... 6460!US!-1


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:36 am 
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I suppose it partly surprised me because selling that sort of stuff is illegal in most European countries and seeing that sort of sales on a site linked from the forums threw me.

Best leave it at that, before the mods feel they have to get busy deleting posts.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:45 am 
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PB+J wrote:
As far as I know the Union wasn't issuing whistles to soldiers. I suppose a maker of tin whistles could have machined up a die for stamping whistles fairly quickly and gotten it into production.

I would suggest that possibly the Union Army Band may have marked their gear. That's why I suggested earlier in thread that contacting the US Army Band may provide more historical information.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:10 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Well, I wasn't referring to the Civil War but to the Nazi memorabilia they sell through the site. 'Support your museum' , buy an original SS collar tab. Charming.

The interest in Nazi memorabilia still seems to be an enduring part of the fabric of historical collecting in the US. While I have never personally appreciated the appeal, one tends to assume that most recreational collectors will view such objects simply as triumphant spoils of war, and that viewpoint, presumably, is why the trade is not illegal. But it must be said that there will also be those for whom such mementos serve darker values, and that, of course, is another discussion.

PB+J wrote:
There's a significant subset of the population for whom "history equals wars and stuff" and "wars and stuff are cool" and they don't really care which war and what was being fought for. We live with this as best we can.

That pretty much says it.

I see it as sort of like trading in scalps, only somewhat less grisly.

Let's move on now, shall we?

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:22 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
PB+J wrote:
As far as I know the Union wasn't issuing whistles to soldiers. I suppose a maker of tin whistles could have machined up a die for stamping whistles fairly quickly and gotten it into production.

I would suggest that possibly the Union Army Band may have marked their gear. That's why I suggested earlier in thread that contacting the US Army Band may provide more historical information.


It's certainly possible. I doubt the military bands would have had a whistle though. Fifes, yes, whistles I suspect not. Fifes already had a long history in military bands, and there are lots of pictures of fifers in the Civl War. I don't know of any playing the whistle. Also would they be loud enough to be of use in a band outside with snare drums and bugles?

So if they were not officially issued for use in regimental bands, it seems unlikely they'd be issued to soldiers as official gear. But accounts of the war often talk about soldiers tossing stuff out of their packs as they march, to save on weight. And it's well known how little standardization had taken place even halfway through the war--uniforms, weaponry, other gear all remained very much a hodge podge of stuff, despite efforts to get them all looking the same. Pennsylvania men didn't want to look like Michigan men.. If they can't issue standard uniforms, which they have trouble pulling off, then it's hard to imagine they would be issuing official US government tin whistles.

In this Thomas Nast image, from 1881, Santa Claus is bringing children presents including a Civil War reproduction sword and belt

Image

and in this 1879 image the boy has been given a reproduction Union cartridge box, lying on the ground, and he has a toy bugle. I have a feeling those eagle-stamped whistles were issued as toys. But again I'm just making a case for why I'm skeptical, not claiming to be right.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:58 pm 
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All of you have made very valid points. I appreciate the input. Thanks for contributing.

Jane


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:45 pm 
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What1cand0 wrote:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Rare-Vintage-Antique-Civil-War-Relic-Eagle-Button-Appomattox-Camp-with-Case/332599119904

I dont know if you can get this picture, but this button shows the insignia of the Union enlisted men in the Civil War. The eagle is exactly the same as on the whistle. So, i decided to make an offer on the whistle i was looking at with the rough soldering job. I offered a lot less thn he was asking (thanks to your advice) and he accepted. So my first whistle for mt Civil War display is on it's way. I am sure when I get it, i will have a lot more questions. Thanks to all of you for sharing,

Jane


Excellent job! As for that particular and hundreds of other eagle designs, it's very common to find articles from the mid to late 19th century with it. And not just military items. Of course, you see it on coins, toys, butter presses, furniture, table ware, cross stitch work and folk art. Just like how we stick American flags on everything, they used to stick eagles on everything! Even now, you'll find eagles on some patriotic goods & novelties, you find them on the dollar bill and on top of flag poles.

Hopefully you can give us some better pictures and tell us how it plays as well! (If it's got a lead block and you're fearful of lead poisoning, a little clear fingernail lacquer brushed on there will do the trick.)

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:49 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
Normal tin whistles are not chromatic by nature, no matter how often you repeat that. If they were you'd have the same fingering for accidentals on all of them. That's why I mentioned the blues harp. Those are even called diatonic. Because they are. Even if you can "force" them with tricks like bending to play chromatically. A diatonic blues harp is even worse than a whistle because it has some notes missing so you cannot even play a normal scale on them without bending the notes. A recorder is chromatic - therefore the fingering for sharps and flats is pretty much the same on all of them (not mentioning German and baroque system). On whistles with a thicker barrel you can use cross fingering to get all notes pretty consistently. On others you can half hole. Whistles are by nature diatonic instruments that can be played chromatically. Nobody ever said "you can only play two keys on a whistle". What does that even mean "chromatic by nature"? If I need a lot of half holing and cross fingering (which differs from whistle to whistle) to play chromatically how does that mean it is "chromatic by nature"? Makes no sense IMO.


Frankly, I'm not going to argue with you about this any more. It's gone well far enough. Just do your diatonic thing and have fun with it! That's the main point of playing a whistle, after all, is to have fun playing music!

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:23 pm 
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Here is a YouTube vid that seems to get a lot out of the whistle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOmba730e0A


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