The Boatswain’s Whistle

By G. E. Manwaring, published April 1922


The boatswain’s whistle can be traced back to the flute of the Greek navy.   From the earliest times, it has been a call to work. A picture of a 15c boatswain would have shown a good-natured, weatherbeaten fellow in a short body jacket; around the neck a silver chain and whistle. Dryden, Monson and Shakespeare made a reference to the boatswain.   Acting under the master, his work was never at an end and his bibulosity and facility with sea-language to encourage the seaman are often remarked. The whistles are silver, brass or white metal with the buoy often engraved.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Manpower & Life at Sea

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