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After a demonstration at Scotland Yard, Hudson had his first sale.This 1884 contract with the police gradually made Hudson the largest whistle manufacturer for British Empire police forces, military, sports, railways and many others.No one was injured, but the factory suffered major damage. Hudson was the only maker in the United Kingdom to use wood horn, Bakelite, plastic and silver, while competitors other than James Dixon & Sons were working solely with metal or other materials.Air Raid Precautions whistles were made during the next few years and dated whistles for army, navy and Royal Air Force equipment and for Civil Defence. Some of the most popular whistle designs in the modern day include: Hudson stamped addresses and other marks on many of its whistles.
J Hudson & Co was founded in the 1870s in Birmingham by Joseph Hudson (1848–1930) and his brother James Hudson (1850–1889).
As the story goes, Hudson, a violin player, accidentally dropped his violin and it shattered on the floor.
Observing how the discordant sound of the breaking strings travelled, Hudson had the idea to put a pea in the whistle.
Starting 1909 at a new facility in northern Birmingham at 244 Barr St., Hudson expanded to more markets in Europe and overseas, with an office in Paris, a large 1910 French catalogue, and new connections with United States sporting goods companies and distributors.
Hudson was left with just one British competitor, A De Courcy & Co, from 1909 to 1927.
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At the beginning of this period the company faced competition from whistles made of tin, plastic and cast base metal materials made in Germany, Japan, USA and other countries. The factory name was changed to Acme Whistles and makes about 5 million whistles each year. The period was marked with growing competition from Far East manufacturers. While many makers concentrated on limited variety, J Hudson & Co made a wide variety of common whistle types, including bird calls, dog calls, fox calls and musical whistles as well as sound effects, slide whistles and novelty combination whistles.