Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for March, 2021

Made in the USA at American Whistle Corporation

If you want a whistle made in the United States, Columbus, Ohio is the place to find it. The American Whistle Corporation is the only factory in the US that makes brass whistles. Everything that goes into the making of the whistle is made in the US. It’s one place where people can really whistle as they work.

No one is certain how the whistle began but evidence of whistles carved out of bones, gourds, or branches have been around since the early humans. In prehistoric Egypt, small shells were used as whistles. The first recorded use of a whistle by a referee was in 1878 at an English Football Association soccer contest between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield.

They also make this popular Ohio State Buckeye whistle.

While sports teams seem an obvious place for their whistles, there are many others that use whistles frequently. These include lifeguards, hikers, hunters, teachers, and police. The piercing sound of a whistle is louder than a yell and carries much farther.

Brass whistle parts are assembled and soldered.

These quality American Whistles have been on the scene since 1956 when the company was Colsoff Manufacturing, and are used as safety tools for young and old alike. Brass, which is used in many musical instruments, is chosen for its resonance plus it never rusts. Some of these whistles with a particular decibel rating can be heard for over a mile.

Here’s a close-up of the nickel-plated whistle and the protective Safe-T-Tip.

In 2018, the present owners purchased the Whistle Factory and are making many additions that complement the brass whistle. Their line of whistle accessories includes lanyards in many different colors. They are also the only United States manufacturer of a rubber mouth protector, Safe-T-Tips, to guard the teeth and lips against damage as well as cold temperatures.

American Whistle Corp. shows their American spirit by displaying a large USA flag.

The process for making a whistle begins with coiled brass, 30–ton presses, state-of-the-art soldering tables, and continues on through polishing, specialized plating processes, and finally, putting a synthetic cork ball inside the whistle! One coil of brass produces 5,000 whistles. A special machine smooths, polishes, and cleans the whistle of everything until it is perfectly free of any burrs. As clean as a whistle!

Joyce, a 25 year employee, inserts the cork balls inside the whistle.

They will even place a logo on the whistle to give it a personal and professional touch. There are a variety of finishes to the brass whistles. While most are nickel-plated, many are finished with brass, bronze, and even 24-karat gold.

The American Spirit Whistle is made specifically for Walmart.

Experienced hands-on workers using high-tech procedures make over a million whistles a year. One of their largest orders goes to the New York City Police Department. They also proudly make the whistles in 24-karat gold for the Super Bowl referees each year with proper logos applied.

The most expensive whistle they ever made was for the retirement of a man who had been grand marshal of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade for many years. That whistle ended up costing over $500.

Personal Safety Whistles are used by the Columbus Police Department.

During the recent pandemic, business was slow since most of their products are made for the sports world where games were being canceled. At that point, they decided they would make an additional whistle, a Personal Safety Whistle, which might be of assistance to those staying at home. This is a durable plastic whistle designed to support the needs of individuals and families and alert others to signs of distress. No batteries required.

Plastic whistles are made in two pieces. Then after the ball is inserted into the whistle, they are placed in a machine where high-frequency sound waves actually melt the two pieces together.

Phil Clark serves as tour guide and spokesman for American Whistle.

If you would like to see how these whistles are made, take a 45-minute guided tour of the factory at 6540 Huntley Road, Columbus. You will hear fascinating information about whistles and their origin. Watch as whistles are being made on some very high-tech machines as well as some of those original machines used from their beginning.

Tours must be scheduled in advance with at least sixteen people in the group. However, if you wish to tour without a group, call to see when they can add you to a group already scheduled. They are very flexible!

This is a tour everyone from preschoolers to seniors will enjoy. They adapt the tour to the age group that is visiting. Everyone leaves with an “American Classic” whistle!

Their sign on the wall says it all!

American Whistle Corporation

The Best Whistles in the USA

American Whistle Corporation can be found at 6540 Huntley Road, Columbus, Ohio in the northwestern section of Columbus. Be sure to call ahead to make reservations at 614-846-2918.

“For the Birds” Creates Solid Birdseed Feeders

Retirement often leads to finding a hobby that makes life more fulfilling. When Marsha Stroud and Lee Marlatt retired, they found a recipe to make birdseed feeders and decided to try it. Now in their fourth year, they create the most unique birdfeeders imaginable for every season of the year. When they started this venture, they had no idea it would become so popular.

Marsha and Lee enjoy talking to customers at Rise and Shine Farmers’ Market.

They named their business simply “For the Birds” since that’s the purpose of everything they make. Their handmade solid birdseed feeders are a popular item at craft shows, farmers’ markets, schools, and Facebook. There’s a great variety to choose from. These birdseed art pieces must of course be non-toxic to birds.

Choose from a selection of owls in all colors.

The feeders begin with a cake or cupcake mold in various shapes and sizes. Roy, Marsha’s husband, cuts away a narrow section of the mold so a wire or hemp can be used as a hanger. Then a wild birdseed mix or sunflower seeds that have been combined with gelatin, water, flour, and light corn syrup gets poured into the mold. After being dried, Marsha colors the pieces with a food coloring paste.

Flowers and butterflies are the most popular birdfeeders for summertime.

Some of the more popular shapes in the summer are flowers such as zinnias, daisies, or roses. During the winter, snowmen and snowflakes become popular. Hearts appear for Valentine’s Day and bunnies for Easter. Their original ideas give customers something different to look forward to each year.

A heart-shaped birdfeeder is welcome anytime of the year.

Designing the birdseed feeders requires hours of experimentation, often causing frustration and even sometimes failure. But in the end, they put their heart and soul into each creation making it unique. They hope that it will end up being a special moment in someone’s life, or in some bird’s life!

Birdwatchers will enjoy having a couple of these feeders outside their window. A large variety of birds will soon appear in your backyard with the addition of these solid birdseed feeders. Keep your bird book handy for easy identification.

Many place their feeders outside a window for easy birdwatching.

Give one as a great gift for someone in a nursing home. If a tree isn’t handy, get a shepherd’s hook and place it outside their window where you can hang one of these unique birdseed feeders. Often the birds hang off the birdfeeder while they get a good snack.

Marsha and Lee like to customize the feeders according to requests. A man asked them to design a birdfeeder in the shape and color of the OU paw for his mother’s 90th birthday as she was a big OU fan.

Snowflakes and snowmen are the best sellers during the winter months.

Another lady requested a wreath of sunflower seeds with cranberry accents as a special Christmas treat…for her chickens!

As you might imagine, they are always on the lookout for molds of various shapes for their creations. One mold that has escaped their grasp is that of a turtle, not a Ninja turtle, just a regular box turtle.

The ladies prepare for the next farmers’ market with new birdfeeders.

Marsha and Lee, with help from Roy, usually work in the Stroud’s basement three days a week. They use approximately 100 pounds of birdseed each week to make between 80-90 birdfeeders. Their largest mold takes ten cups of birdseed.

This shows a small section of their craft show display.

The local Rise & Shine Farmers’ Market in Cambridge is one of their favorites as all products there are either locally grown or handmade. It usually runs from May – September so add them to your calendar now.

The River City Market in Marietta is held every Saturday for special homemade treats.

In February, Marsha and Lee plan to be back at the “Handmade, Homemade, Homegrown” River City Market in Marietta. While this is an outdoor market, it is held throughout the year. Here, For the Birds has an enclosed tent with a heater for some extra warmth. They are there on Saturdays from 8-noon.

This OSU birdfeeder is a big hit with Buckeye fans.

While many feeders are purchased at craft shows, they can also be found on Facebook and have been shipped to North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania to name a few states. They will be carefully packed and shipped for your personal use or as a gift for someone else.

Rufus Bernard joins For the Birds in saying Happy New Year.

Marsha does take breaks from this hobby. One of her favorite escapes is to Florida where she enjoys spending time on the beach. A few years ago, a St. Bernard ended up on their doorstep and they adopted him. Now Rufus, a rather large but friendly dog, keeps them busy and entertained.

Feeding the birds in the winter months is especially important as there isn’t much natural food for them to maintain their body fat reserves for those cold winter nights. Once they discover you have food for them, they’ll return again and again.

Visit “For the Birds” on Facebook where you can find many pictures of their work. For the Birds is just a phone call away at 740-584-0691. They have gift certificates available and do accept credit cards. There’s a feeder for every season so choices are unlimited.

Feed the birds. Not all birds fly south!

Visit For the Birds at one of their farmers’ market sites or find them on Facebook where you can order direct. Call them at 740-584-0691.

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