ANTIQUE POLICEMAN’S RATTLE / WHISTLE USED AT MASONIC LODGE

$595.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1117-144

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Handmade wooden rattles, also known as clackers and battle alarms due to their LOUD clacking sound, were mostly used in the early military. Typically associated with a call to arms on warships, these had their beginning as alarms used by town criers in the 18th century, i.e., watchmen and fire fighters through the 19th century. Naval rattles were used for sounding the alarm on deck to gather the crew, call to battle stations, to prepare for an attack or boarding, man overboard, or as a distress call. Municipalities later employed them for Police and Firemen’s use.

This item is a “Policeman’s Rattle” patented in 1855 by Joseph McCord of Philadelphia. This early example is constructed of oak or some similar hardwood so when spun on the handle it makes a LOUD repetitive machine gun-like sound. It has a brass weighted end, a wood body which features the stamping, “McCORD’S / PATENT 1855” and which encloses the reed, and a turned wood handle topped with a whistle. The overall fully extended length is about 14 inches.

Written in ink on the wood reed is, “SPRING AT ROLL CALL” on one side and “PRESENTED TO HARMONY CHAPTER BY J.R. CROCKET / SPRING FOR ROLL CALL” on the other side.

“Harmony Chapters” refers to local groups of the Order of the Eastern Star which is associated to the Masons.

This will make an excellent addition to any early police or fraternal display. This piece is in original, untouched condition, and still works as designed.

“UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE. JOSEPH MCCORD, 0F PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

POLICEMAN’S RATTLE.

Specification of Letters Patent No. 13,823, dated November 20, 1855.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, JOSEPH McCORD, of the city of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Policeman’s Rattles; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawing and to the letters of reference marked thereon.

My invention relates to an improvement in rattles used by policemen for springing alarms, and consists in attaching the handle to the edge of the ratchet wheel and at right angles to its axis instead of securing it direct to the latter as in ordinary rattles, in order that t-he said handle when not required for use in springing alarms may be turned down into the space cut out of the body of the instrument, in which condition it may be carried about in the pocket with greater facility and used as a mace for defensive purposes more effectively than the ordinary rattle.

In order to enable others skilled in the art to make and use my invention I will now proceed to describe its construction and operation.

On reference to the drawing which forms a part of this specification, Figure 1 is a sectional view of my improved rattle with the handle extended; Fig. 2, a sectional plan of the same; Fig. 3, a sectional view with the handle turned down.

The same letters of reference allude to similar parts throughout the several views.

A is the body of the rattle having a space a cut out for the operation of the spring B, which is secured into a mortise in the end of the body A. C is the ratchet wheel having any convenient number of teeth c, and a projection (Z for receiving the end of the handle D. F is the pin forming the axis of the ratchet wheel.

The end of the body A may be loaded with metal or furnished with brass mountings. When used to spring an alarm the handle is in the position shown in Fig. 1 and 2, the operator takes it in his hand and agitates it so that the weighted body may have an oscillating movement which causes the end of the spring B to pass backward and forward over the teeth of the ratchet wheel, causing a noise similar to that produced by springing an ordinary rattle. When the instrument is worn in the pocket the handle is turned down into the recess a, and should it become necessary to use it for defensive purposes it forms a sufficiently formidable mace when grasped by the hand at the end where the ratchet wheel is situated. The peculiar formation of the end thus grasped, renders it a matter of difficulty to wrench the instrument from the holder.

A policeman furnished with such an instrument as that above described, will not be under the necessity of carrying both mace and rattle, as my improved arrangement combines both in one in such a manner as to be far more easily carried in the pocket than either of the above separate instruments.

I claim as an improvement in policeman’s rattles, the securing of the handle to the edge of the ratchet wheel and at right angles to the axis of the latter for the purpose of turning down the handle out of the way thereby rendering the instrument more convenient to carry in the pocket, and for the further purpose of combining a mace and rattle in one instrument substantially in the manner herein set forth.

JOSEPH McCORD”.   [JET]

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