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Whistleworld and ACME

Whistles and Whistle World

My first dealing with ACME whistles was in the 1970's. I was training as an accountant and briefly was one of their auditors. At the time there was a TV series starringh Eric Sykes. One sketch had Eric on the railway and he to say that he was 'blowing his ACME Thunderer Railway whistle'. The factory were so impresseed they sent him a case of champaign. He responsed with 'wait till next week'. The sketch was Eric as a football referee. Again he said he was 'blowing his ACME referee whistle', so another case of champagne was duly sent. As a business, 15 years ago we ran a number of INTERSPORT sports shops in the West Midlands and so bought ACME whistles. Our family sold our interests in the retail interests but kept the small Refkit and Teamkit specialist mail order operations. We always offered a small range of ACME whistles. In 2004 Teamkit/Refkit were invited to the NEC in support of Casio watches (we are wholesalers of Casio watches). SimonTopman, ACME's MD was due to join us bringing a range of whistles. At 8am he was a no show. He finally arrived at 11.00 his excuse was that meeting he had the previous day in London had gone on longer than expected. It appears he was unable to leave early as he was at No 10 Downing St with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at a DTI presentation - he was then with us - how the mightly have fallen. After 3 days of Simon blowing his whistles on the stand we agreed to sell the fully range of ACME whistles and set up a seperate website - hence whistleworld was born.

ACME History

The following is reproduced with kind permission of ACME

The History of ACME whistles
Welcome to the worlds biggest and finest selection of professional whistles.

93 authentic and genuine Acme whistles including many world firsts. There is no whistle available today, from any source, that doesn’t owe its existence to a concept or design pioneered by Acme.

So how did it all begin and what are our plans for the 21st century?

Lets take a look both ways.

Joseph Hudson a farm worker from Derbyshire who moved to the city of Birmingham, like so many during the Industrial Revolution, and trained as a toolmaker.

He converted the wash house at the side of his end of terrace “ back to back” home in St Marks Street into a workshop where he made many things to help increase his family’s income. His early products were snuff boxes, cork screws and whistles.

His whistle business was very small until in 1883 The London Metropolitan Police advertised for an idea to replace the policeman’s rattle a cumbersome means of communication for the bobby on his “beat” (the name given to his patrol).

Joseph Hudson invented a novel whistle for the purpose. It could be held in the mouth leaving the hands free a clear advantage over the rattle. Joseph Hudson’s dilemma was in finding a distinctive and far carrying sound. Pondering on this problem as he played his violin he failed to place his instrument down firmly on the table when he had finished playing and it fell to the ground and broke.

He noticed what a jarring and discordant sound it made as it broke and sensed that this was the type of sound he needed for his new whistle.

The police tested his whistle on Clapham Common and were delighted when it was clearly heard just over a mile (1.6Km) distance.

Over the next 135 years Acme developed and patented over 40 different whistle designs. Here are just a few of these world firsts:

The Metropolitan Police Whistle
The Acme Thunderer
The Acme Siren
Silent Dog Whistle
Scout Whistle
Life Jacket Watersafe Whistle
The Tornado


By the year 2000 sales had reached big numbers. The Acme Thunderer alone had sold over 200 million with the many other whistles of the range adding dramatically to its total.

Today our modern whistles such as Tornado 2000 and the Cyclone are used in top class sporting events around the globe. Here are just a few of the sporting bodies, safety organisations and security organisations who use Acme whistles:-

NATO forces
Royal Life Saving Society
International Mountain Rescue Council
Boy Scouts of U.S.A
Singapore Police
Canadian Hockey



Hong Kong Lifeguards Association
N.F.L
N.C.A.A.
FIFA
UN
FIMBRA
FINA


But whistle development never stops at Acme and the new sports whistle, a new dog whistle and a new animal sound effect are under development for launch during 2005 – 2006.

The new SportzWiz is an electronic signaller with many applications. A state of the art attention grabber.

Over recent years Acme has increased its export turnover to include 119 countries.

Sales may now be in millions to every corner of the globe but some things never change. Joseph Hudson used to insist on blowing every whistle himself personally before it left the factory. Today we have a machine that fulfils this task. EVERY ACME WHISTLE IS INDIVIDUALLY TESTED AND GUARANTEED.