Historical Whistles

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Thomas Court
Picture taken at a different angle of the steam engine from a sternwheel steamboat. Courtesy of Thomas Court, Provincial Museum and Archives of Alberta, 12845 102 Ave., Edmonton 40, Alberta, Canada T5N OM6.

304 N. Glover Drive, Longview, Texas 75601.

By those who know me personally I am sometimes referred to as
‘the whistle man.’ This is due to the fact that my hobby is
that of collecting steam whistles. This hobby was begun many years
ago and so far have collected more than 225 steam whistles. The
larger portion of my collection has been sold to ‘The Red
Caboose Motel’ at Strasburg, Pa. It is now on display at this
point, and may be seen by those who visit the famous Strasburg
railroad, known as ‘The Road To Paradise’. Mr. Donald
Denlinger, owner and operator of The Red Caboose Motel and Railroad
Museum, will be pleased to show the collection of steam artifacts
which I formerly owned. You will, if you are a steam engine
enthusiast, enjoy seeing this historical collection.

Recently I came in possession of two steam whistles with
historical backgrounds. One of these whistles was installed at the
Texas and Pacific Railroad Shops at Marshall, Texas, in 1888, and
was used till the shop was dismantled in 1950, at which time the
diesel-electric locomotives took the place of the steam
locomotives. This whistle is made of red brass and weighs 180 lbs.
It has been heard on certain days more than 25 miles about the
countryside.

The second whistle was originally owned by an old engineer who
ran from San Antonio, to Laredo, Texas, more than 50 years ago. It
has this engineer’s name stamped on top of it. It weighs about
50 lbs. and is of the chime type.

A third whistle I own comes from the old Jefferson and
Northwestern Railroad and was used on that line till its
abandonment about 1935. A Mr. Prue, now deceased, owned and used
this whistle for many years. He rescued it from the scrap dealers
many years ago when the J. & N. W. Railroad was abandoned. I
own now more than 25 whistles which I have collected since selling
my large collection to the Red Caboose Motel Museum at Strasburg,
Pa. In addition to the steam whistle collection, I have been
successful in collecting many other artifacts pertaining to the Age
Of Steam, including locomotive bells, marker and switch lights,
locks and keys, telegraph instruments, many kerosene burning
lanterns, dining car silverware, railroad emblems, brakeman’s
caps, agents caps, railroad tower lights, etc. Due to the scarcity
of these things I find the prices are high, and that there is an
unwillingness on the part of many people to sell them. This I can
understand as no more of these things will be made and individuals
like to hold on to things used in days passed. Let all of the old
steam engine men take notice don’t let the scrap metal dealers
tell you that what you have is of no value and induce you to sell
it to them for practically nothing. I want to see both the old
steam engine men and their possessions around as long as possible.
Here I blow the whistle and end this article.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment