Blowing the Whistle in Ohio
Fans of quaint, quirky yet very relevant Americana will enjoy a visit to the American Whistle Corporation in Worthington, Ohio, the only manufacturer of metal whistles in the United States.
We might think of a whistle as an innocuous item, but after visiting American Whistle, we are reminded that from coaches to teachers to police officers to professional sports professionals, whistles play a vital role in the lives of everyday Americans.
Founded in 1956, American Whistle satisfies important needs in safety and sports, according to manager Amber Robertson.
“We all remember the role that whistles played on the Titanic when the crewmembers frantically blew them to get attention,” Robertson said. “In fact, it is required by code that all sea vessels have a whistle, from ocean liners to the guy down the street who has a little fishing boat.”
Robertson said many police officers across the country carry an American Whistle with their name and badge stamped on top. “Often the public has a whistle defense program in the area within their own police force, not only promoting safety but their local department,” Robertson said.
Sports fans will also be impressed with an American Whistle tradition.
“For 19 years, we have contributed to perhaps America’s biggest game day: the Super Bowl,” said Robertson. “While we all know that the players get a ring, we manufacture a 24-carat gold-plated whistle given to all Super Bowl officials.”
Tours of the American Whistle Corporation include observing the manufacturing process from raw material to the shipping of the packaged product. Guests view the mechanical engineering at work in one-of-a-kind machines while learning who buys whistles and why.
Although there is a gift shop on-site, you don’t have to buy something in order to bring home a souvenir. Everyone gets a whistle when they leave.