Nearly every metal whistle in the U.S. can be traced back to the same factory in Columbus: The American Whistle Corp., which is just outside Worthington, bills itself as the only company in the country that makes them today.
The company, which makes lanyards and plastic whistles in addition to the standard brass whistle, was the fourth stop on the ThisWeek Community News' "Hidden Gems around central Ohio" video series. Previous stops included the Central Ohio Symphony, the Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. and the Akiba Arcade.
The American Whistle Corp. was founded in 1956 and now makes an estimated 1 million whistles each year, according to employee and tour guide Phil Clark. For more than 30 years, the company has been making whistles in its factory at 6540 Huntley Road, Columbus.
Each year, the New York Police Department orders 10,000 whistles for its officers, Clark said. In addition, specialty logos are stamped into the brass for college sports teams, corporate logos like the American Red Cross and local police departments.
For the Super Bowl, the company makes special whistles for the referees who officiate the game, which come in wooden boxes with the Super Bowl's insignia on it, Clark said.
Tours are available by appointment only, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The tour takes about an hour and costs $5 per person. In order to have a private tour, tours must include at least 15 people, Clark said.
The tour ends with the gift shop, which is open from weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to whistles, items that include T-shirts and magnets are available for purchase.
To schedule a tour, call 614-846-2918 or go to americanwhistle.com.
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