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Old 07-21-2007, 04:50 AM
Alan Bates Alan Bates is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 841
Default Belle of Louisville whistle

Does anyone know the origin of the Belle's whistle? She came close to losing it. Captain Paul Underwood didn't like it, claiming that it was "too coarse," by which he meant it was pitched too low. I was told to design a new one and we sold a lot of scrap manila line to pay for the project.
Her whistle is made with cast-iron bells and the lower edges are eroded and blunt. I decided to humor Captain Paul and make new bells of brass - the same sizes as the existing ones. That may have changed the timbre, but the pitch would have remained the same. Fortunately the going price for used manila lines was low. I did manage to make one bell but it was never fitted. Cap retired and the project died. I was greatly gratified for the whistle and saddened by his departure.
As far as I know the whistle came out with the boat. It could have been a product of Ree's foundries or it could have come from an earlier boat. Or neither.
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