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Tin penny whistle
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Author:  What1cand0 [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Tin penny whistle

I have seen a tin penny whistle with a US stamp and an eagle imprinted on it. Can anyone give me any history on that? I Would really like to find one and purchase it. Help! Please advise.

Thank you
Jane

Author:  Nanohedron [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

I've looked all over and I can't find anything as you describe. Where did you see it?

Author:  What1cand0 [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

There was one listed on eBay, but it has been sold and is no longer available. I am a small civil war collector and was curious about the markings. I am hoping someone has come across something similar that they can share some information regarding this whistle. I know the soldiers carried such tin whistles with them during the war, to entertain themselves and campmates during down time. Any information regarding this topic would be appreciated.

Author:  PB+J [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

I've never seen one like that for sure, but I have a very vague memory of something like that being marketed at some US historica site or other

Author:  ytliek [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

I don't recall seeing any whistle marked as stated. Possibly a custom made instrument. There are souvenir type instruments from Colonial Williamsburg and civil war era fifes memorabilia.

http://shop.colonialwilliamsburg.com/Tin-Whistle

Author:  Nanohedron [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

What1cand0 wrote:
There was one listed on eBay, but it has been sold and is no longer available.

Because you said "tin", I assume the metal was either indeed tin or some other whitish metal. Is that correct?

Author:  ytliek [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

I couldn't even find the eBay listing.

Author:  What1cand0 [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

Here is how the whistle or flute was listed and 3 pictures my daughter was able to input for me. So it is probably not a tin whistle and hopefully this will help you help me. Thanks

Nice old metal flute that has some rust (mostly superficial), estate found, measures 14" long. The flute is keyed in "B" (it looks like an R but it's a B). We are assuming that this is Civil War era due to the style of the eagle it may be into the indian war period, we never seen one that is metal they are normally rosewood. They way this flute is stamped out of sheet metal we don't think the cheater pieces that you see on the wood ones would have worked on this flute.

Image

Image

Image

Author:  Steve Bliven [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

Pretty clear the seller didn't know much about the instrument, but the rust and look of the metal is similar to the "tinned" pie plates and other cooking materials from early 20th century. Couldn't guess as to the origin of the whistle, however.

Best wishes.

Steve

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

What1cand0 wrote:
So it is probably not a tin whistle ...

Even if it's not of actual tin per se, it's totally what we'd call a tin or penny whistle.

What1cand0 wrote:
... we never seen one that is metal they are normally rosewood.

At this point I think you must be talking about fifes.

Author:  What1cand0 [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

I dont believe this is a fife, because a fife is held differently and i dont believe they were ever made out of metal. It's a whistle or a flute, but very interesting.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

It was your comment, "normally rosewood", that threw me. Especially since they became mass produced, in the Western tradition metal whistles (and now plastic as well) have predominated. Wooden whistles of any kind are not the norm, but are specialty and even luxury items. I don't think I've ever seen a wooden whistle from the same time period as your metal one; fifes, OTOH, are a different matter.

A quick overview of terminology and its use on this website: All whistles, ocarinas, and endblown or sideblown flutes are technically "flutes", but here a flute refers to those instruments without a fipple (sideblown flute, fife, shakuhachi, etc.). In reference to whistles (which have fipples, like your instrument in question), here it's best to simply call them whistles unless you're being scholarly, and we seldom have need to bother with that. :)

Author:  ytliek [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

I'm guessing the stamp is a U.S. military marking. I found a civil war image and I think the eagle is very similar marking here:

Image

Marking as in Government Property

Author:  What1cand0 [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

It is very similar. Amazing you found that similarity. If you ever see a whistle with that image, dont hesitate to contact me. Thank you all for your interest.

Author:  PB+J [ Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tin penny whistle

Yes that is a tin whistle or penny whistle. Sometimes called a "flageolet"

The marking does look civil war vintage to me and I'm a US historian for a living. But it was common to cater to Civil War era "nostalgia" very quickly and for a while--Thomas Nast would often have Santa Clause delivering toys with Civl War era US marking on them. Very interesting!

It may have a lead plug at the mouthpiece--old tin whistles often did.

"Tin whistles" were mass produced starting in the 1840s. I found the 1897 Sears catalog online. They sold something called a "nightingale flageolet, which you can see if you have access to the Hathi Trust website (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.31158001963940;view=1up;seq=528;size=200)

Here's a picture of what looks like it might be similar

Image

I would not be surprised that a whistle like that would have been sold through Sears starting in the late 1880s

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