About Steam Whistles
When you need to let off steam, let steam whistles lend a hand. Steam whistles first appeared in factories and warehouses, signaling the start and finish of work shifts. They appeared later on various forms of transportation, functioning as low water alarms on boilers during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Later, in the 1830s, railroads saw a use for these whistles on trains, which gave rise to the iconic steam engine whistle. Whether you want to send your family members off to work, entertain fellow train travelers, or simply display for decoration, antique steam whistles serve practical and aesthetic purposes. You can find them primarily in brass, the standard material for whistles in America, available from the large inventory on eBay. Some whistles feature small sizes, averaging five or six inches. Others look like water pumps, standing over two feet high. Some whistles emit plain, single tone sounds through a seal, called lips. Some feature just one bell or pipe, while others, which classify as chime whistles, have two or three. Some whistles, called calliopes, play music, and draw power from air compressors. These whistles take the form of chime whistles, gongs, and variable pitch whistles. Variable pitch whistles feature internal pistons, which allow changing pitches and tones, creating melodies or imitating certain noises, like wildcat whistles or mocking bird whistles.