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Bosun's call

Dimensions:
Overall: 23 x 22 x 115 mm, 0.025 kg
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Sound communication
Object Name: Bosun's whistle
Object No: 00033915

User Terms

    Description
    Boatswain's (bosun's) calls - also known as a boatswain's whistle or boatswain's pipe - were originally used by boatswain's mates on warships to pipe orders throughout the ship before the advent of modern means of communication. A variety of tones can be made and each order has its own particular call. The main calls are: to be passed, all hands, boat call, call mates, stand-by, hoist away, haul, belay, heave around, veer, lay up, lay out and piping the side. Their current use is for the ceremonial piping when commanding officers and other dignitaries are on board.

    Each part of the pipe has a nautical name. The mouthpiece is called the gun; the ball is called the buoy; the ring is called the shackle; the leaf (or main body of the pipe) is called the keel. There is a hole at the top of the buoy where the sound is emitted. The boatswain's pipe has the nickname Spithead Nightingale in the Royal Navy - referring to the sounds heard across the waters of Spithead when the fleet was at anchor.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Bosun's call

    Primary title: BOSUN'S WHISTLE

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