Ralph Fuller looks over the old steam whistle that used to be sounded at noon and 6 p. m. at the Jackman Mills in the early days of Minneapolis.
The old whistle has been lying in the dirt and mud on the river bank since the mill was torn down years' ago. Fuller recently inquired about the old time whistle at the Minneapolis Grain Company where the mill was formerly located.
Milton, Lott, employee at the elevator, remembered seeing the whistle lying in the dirt, and was able to lead Fuller to it. Max Guipre, elevator manager, then gave Fuller the whistle to do with as he pleased.
Fuller has since cleaned and repaired the relic, and has it in working order. He connected it to his old steam engine to give it a try. However, a stay bolt on the old engine blew out so he couldn't build up sufficient steam pressure. He did get one 'blow' out of it proving that the whistle. is now in working order.
When he gets his steamer repaired, Fuller plans to give the tooter a good blow. 'It has a deep voice, sounding like a steam boat whistle,' he said. 'When I give it a good test, the whistle will be heard ail over town.'
A one and a half inch steam pipe is connected to the whistle. The whistle, has a 4x16 inch bell of brass and copper. It is a mocking bird type whistle, meaning that a level can be moved which, will change the pitch of the sound.
Notice will be given when the whistle is to be tried again, so everyone will know what the unusual sound is. Its sound will probably bring back memories to the old timers of the community.
Fuller has had wide publicity on his many models of old time steam engines which he creates out of odds and ends with a minimum of tools. Much of his model work is done with a hack saw and a file. His present endeavors in the model field is an original type James A. Watt beam steam engine which was made in England 175 years ago, before this country was using steam for power.