When it comes to getting somebody?s attention, nothing beats a whistle. Referees, English Bobbies, boatswains, and hunters have used whistles since antiquity. In ancient China, sentinels blew into acorns to warn townspeople of invading Mongols. Whistles are everywhere; like the wheel, they are simple and get the job done. The modern whistle was invented in 1870 and first used in a soccer match in 1878; previously, umpires waved handkerchiefs to get the players? attention. The referee whistle is known generically as a pea whistle because of the wooden ball ("pea") which rattles around inside the chamber. Duck calls, bird calls, foghorns, organ pipes, calliopes, pan pipes, and Baroque recorders are all whistles, not to mention pennywhistles, train whistles, slide whistles, and shepherds? whistles. You can find on eBay everything from antique railroad steam whistles to survival emergency whistles?ingenious devices combining a whistle and flint fire starter and worn as bracelets which unravel to provide 12 feet of paracord. When it comes to getting somebody?s attention?be it a basketball player, a sheep dog, or an ocean liner, nothing beats a plain old whistle.