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October 18, 2005


Pat Heldman

Ah, yes. I found this site by putting "noon whistle" in Google. My sis and I were talking about "home" the other day and wondered how the noon whistle in Willits, CA where we grew up got started and why. She is a folklorist and is doing some research but it seems to harken back to the old "company towns". And, it was also used to call the volunteer fire department. One whistle wasn't bad, but a 4-whistle fire could burn the town down. Thanks for your article.

Daniel De Rosso

I was obsessed with the noon whistle as a kid. I would sit in 6th grade class and listen to it everyday. I think part of the history involves factories where the whistle would blow and let all the workers know it was time for lunch. It is definitely more common with firehouses these days.

I even went so far when I was a kid to take pictures of noon whistles and I even recorded a few of them. I thought at one point of putting it together as a book but it's such a strange and arcane topic I couldn't imagine what the market for it would be!


The story of your allnighter was hilarious. Our television sputtered out over 2 years ago so I cant go that route. It is a very large and heavy black SONY unit which is always ominously and silently present and is taking up an enormous amount of space in my family room. Even my two men cant lift it easily. I am not sure it can go on a dolly (? spelling) and out down the steps but since it did get into the house there must be a way to get rid of it. The same two men brought it in about 6 years ago. BTW my all nighters come quite often. That's when my brain keeps running videos of my existence in rewind mode, fast loop.

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