Inventor of the Pea Whistle by Englishman Joseph Hudson ( 1848-1930 )
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As a fan of most sports I thought I would write about how the first referee's Pea Whistle was invented and by whom. Way back in the 1860s, Joseph Hudson, who was originally a Farm Worker from Derbyshire who moved to Birmingham during the Industrial Revolution. He later trained as a toolmaker and converted his humble wash room at St. Mark’s Square, Birmingham which he rented for 1s. 6d. (one shilling and six pence per week) into a workshop where he could supplement the family income by watch repairing and to cobbling shoes.
Joseph Hudson was well known as an inventor in Birmingham, England during the late 19th century and the founder of J Hudson & Co. in 1870 later to become the world largest whistle manufacturer.
He entered a competition held by the Metropolitan police force in London in 1883 to design a better way of attracting people's attention. He won a contract to supply the police with their new devices, a small but loud 'Whistle'.
Prior to this time the police force had to rely on hand rattles and whistles were only thought of as musical instruments or toys, his whistle is still used by the force and many others world side.
He later invented the first referee whistle for football matches, prior to this handkerchiefs were used at games. Hudson also invented the 'Acme Thundered' (first ever pea whistle) which has been, and remains, the most used whistle in the world, from train guards to dog handlers, party goers to police officers.
Joseph Hudson set up his whistle factory in Birmingham, England in 1870. Around 1878, his ACME Whistles were the first to replace the handkerchiefs and sticks of football referees.
In 1883 the Home Secretary invited competition from companies to replace the hand rattle that the London Metropolitan Police of the time relied on. Joseph Hudson, basing a new whistle on the sound he had heard when a violin broke from a fall, was awarded the contract for over 7,000 whistles. During testing on Clapham Common, the sound of the whistle was heard over a mile away.
In 1884, the company continued their whistle revolution, inventing the first reliable pea-whistle, the ACME Thundered which is still the most popular whistle today and has sold in the hundreds of millions. Today Acme whistles are recognized as some of the finest whistles manufactured in the world today.
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