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Latest News and Events

Keep up with the latest aspects of Horn & Whistle Magazine on this page, which is updated frequently. (This page was last updated on 9 28, 2019)


Youngstown, OH, Whistle Toot, Saturday, Oct 12th!

I just got the official word from Harry Barry that this event date has fortunately been changed. This year, the Youngstown whistle blow has been changed to October 12th. This is really good news because now that means that it will not occur on the same date as the St. Clair event. This is good, because now, as in previous years, those of you who wish to attend both events will be able to do so.

The demise of their boiler has terminated (at least for a while) the famous Boot Hill Whistle Blow. However, all is not lost by any means. Look at this next item!

Whatever else you do, DO NOT MISS our new PREMIER WHISTLE TOOT, The now famous ST. CLAIR, MI TOOT! The event takes place along the shores of the St. Clair River in MI. and will take place on September 28th. Contact Harry Barry at
whistletooter@hotmail.com for details on this event. This is now the HWEG's premier whistle event, and features some of the largest whistles ever produced as well as giant steam horns, steam sirens, and of course many smaller whistles as well.

And here is another great event. I'm going to make this one myself! Hope to see some of you here!

IIAH promotion picture

New issue # 140 is now available and a notification with the URL has been e-mailed to all active on-line subscribers. I am also happy to note that I have been able to streamline the downloading for our on-line subscribers. The simple clicking on a certain image will get you the magazine directly without the need of a password to open the issue.

If you purchase an on-line subscription, your subscription will begin with issue # 140. The use of a password is still necessary for new on-line subscribers, I'm hoping to make that requirement go away also in the near future. Here's a look at the front cover of #140, and also a list of the articles featured in it.

Front cover of issue 140

Featured articles in #140

Lunkenheimer and Crosby Balanced Whistle Valves - How do they work?

Why does the pitch of diaphragm air horns drop at the start of a blast and rise again at the end? We're doing some serious experiments on real P and K Railroad horns to find out, and we're finding out a lot of other stuff you never knew about horns along the way. (First installment of a two-part article.)

We are sad to say that we lost two of our own since the last issue. Well-known Horn collector (and the producer of a number of really nice RR videos) Edward Kaspriske died of natural causes a few months ago, and likewise, Kevin O'Connell, owner of B&M Siren died of pancreatic cancer 2 months ago. Both of these deaths represent great losses for the entire Horn & Whistle community, and we at H&W express our most sincere sympathy to their families and loved ones. Read about these wonderful individuals in this issue.

The Horn Doc A Tale of Two M3s shows us how he restores seemingly impossibly damged horns to better than new condition, also a two part series.

Trigonometry Can Save You From Injury - Yes, you read that right. We'll take a look at High School Mathematics Classes' most dreaded subject and find out that it is both interesting and very helpful when presented by practical examples and with a little levity along the way.

If you are not a subscriber to Horn & Whistle, change that situation right here! Subscribe to H & W E-zine.

Applying the RULE OF SEVEN to Subscription renewal e-mail notices. The Rule of Seven regarding web pages means that if an entity such as Horn & Whistle needs to communicate with a customer, it is recommended by advertising and mail-order experts that the marketer (H&W in this case) should contact a client or customer seven times before assuming that this client is no longer interested in responding. I am referring to subscription renewal notices here. So, because I frequently experiment with different ways of improving H&W or growing the subscriber base, I am now going to try applying the Rule of Seven to the subscription renewal notification e-mails that I send. Previously, I just sent out one notice, which I included with the notice and URL for each new issue. But renewals have been spotty at best. A noted marketing guru in Cambridge, MA who has been heavily involved with marketing for at least the last 30 years originated the Rule of Seven, stating that in his research it would be necessary to connect with a client a minimum of seven times, so I am going to try this myself. If I can make H&W a sufficiently big enough publication (the goal is 5000 subscribers) then I could have paper magazines produced by offset lithography and we could once again offer a paper hardcopy. But we're not there yet; not even close, so I'm only pushing on-line subscriptions at the moment. Ultimately; I would guess perhaps within 25 years, I believe most paper publication will stop as young people today have a very embracing and accepting opinion regarding the Internet and on-line publishing

Big change to Horn & Whistle in 2018. For many reasons, the principal one being an economics reason, H&W has now become an entirely on-line publication in 2018 with the following exceptions. First, we have some older, long time H&W subscribers who do not have or use computers because when they were younger and actively employed, computers were not in general use by the public nor even available except to large businesses and commercial establishments. Second, we have some subscribers who live in areas where dial-up Internet is the only service currently available and our on-line version is not easily downloadable if you have dial-up Internet service. Third, we have a few subscribers who are Amish and for whom their religious beliefs prohibit the use of any electrical devices, such as computers, but for all others, paper subscriptions will be ended sometime in 2018 (specific issue cut off number will be established early in the year) and subscribers switched over to the on-line version. Because the on-line version is much less expensive than the paper version, subscriptions will be increased so that the value of what you received will be the same as for what you initially paid. For example, if you bought a three-year subscription to H&W for $75.00 and we switch to on-line (at $10.00 per year instead of $25.00) we would increase your subscription to 7 1/2 years instead of three. The costs of producing and distributing the paper copies are spiraling up all the time and it has become no longer possible to continue with paper copies without massive price increases. Please click here for a more detailed explanation of the reason for this change and how the on-line subscriptions work. While I am generally up to date with the present on-line version, I am considerably behind schedule with the paper version, a situation which I am working on to correct ASAP.

New Whistle Picture Book. Well, after a lengthy delay re/ a copyright issue on a couple of pictures, it looks like I can finally go ahead with this. Should finally be available in September. Copyright issues are resolved so it is just a matter of me carving out a block of time to devote to its physical production. Gearing up for a mid September print run. After some deliberation, I made the decision to go with gloss paper for all internal pages that have pictures. I've already obtained a few proof pages, I must say they look good. I know you've been waiting for a couple of years on this, but I think if you love steam whistles, you will find this an excellent companion publication to Ed Fagen's now famous Steam Whistle Book, The Engine's Moan. As I mentioned before, the Whistle Picture Book is entirely derived from photographs that have been saved by previous publishers and also myself from material that has been sent in for publication in H & W.

Deluxe edition option ending. Sometimes, the only way to know if something will work is to experiment. Thomas Edison was the master experimenter and he was quite successful as we all know. But in the course of his experimenting, he also found out what did not work. The response to the deluxe paper version has been minimal. In order to produce these full color paper issues and get the price down, I'd need to make many more than I do at present. Anyhow, I tried, and it did not catch on. If you already get the deluxe paper version, you will keep getting it, however I am discontinuing production regarding any new subscriptions of the deluxe paper version if you do not currently get it. Besides, since H&W is now going to become an on-line publication, just about the entire issue will be in full color anyhow, one of the many advantages of on-line publishing. The main purpose of making the deluxe editions was to have a full color edition. However, the deluxe editions are profitable for us because they are so more expensive than the standard paper copies were.

There is an additional article in issue, #134. Unfortunately, we couldn't put that additional article in the paper copies because that would have made them more expensive, but it is in the on-line version of #134. This, BTW, is one significant advantage of getting H&W on-line. We're not limited if we want to go somewhat over our present 44 page limit. If we exceed the limit with paper copies, the printing cost goes up. And then the extra pages add more weight so the mailing cost goes up too. However, adding extra content to the on-line issue only takes a little more time, but does not add anything to the price of producing it or distributing it, which I think is one of the greatest advantages of on-line publishing for any information, not just Horn & Whistle.

Don't forget; if you change any aspect of your address, either physical or e-mail, let me know. Here's the best e-mail to use for any e-mail correspondence regarding Horn & Whistle.


Major tragedy for H&W Publisher. No, don't worry, I'm OK, my wife is fine too as well as my cat. No the tragedy concerns the box in which I had a stored paper copy of EVERY single Horn & Whistle from issue number one. During a heavy rain a while back, we were away for ten days. I had entrusted someone to look after my house while away. Said individual decided it was more important to go away himself and did not either inform me of that or delegate anyone else to look after my house, the result being some basement flooding which destroyed among other things, including my furnace blower, the corrugated box which contained all of these Horn & Whistle magazines, some probably irreplaceable now. So I am presently unable to provide any back issues except for a few later issues that I had scanned and stored on a CD. Fortunately, I do have a copy of every issue that I produced beginning with #101. These are available on three CDs, presently $14.00 ea plus $3.87 for packaging, handling and shipping. Here's a direct link to the purchasing form for these. You can also find a link for these on the Home Page by clicking the Subscribe button.

Here's a handy form to fill out to expedite an address change: Change postal or e-mail address. Here's a special e-mail address which I check now on a daily basis.


Regarding returning pictures or articles that you have sent in; it is worth repeating yet again that if you send us pictures and/or articles and want them back, you need to include a note with your material stating that fact and also include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. Without that, we will not save either pictures or articles once we have processed them for inclusion in the magazine unless the pictures are of exceptional quality. The amount of material that sometimes comes here can be quite formidable, and storage of pictures and papers is really neither practical or possible. I am sorry to say but if you send in material without either a request to save them or the postage-paid envelope and then later on change your mind, it will probably be too late, so please keep this fact in mind when you send in items that you want returned to you.

Previous publishers have in many cases kept photos that were sent to us; indeed, that is how the Whistle Picture Book became possible. But eventually there came a time when there was just too much stuff and that was why the previous publisher instituted the present policy of no longer keeping material once it was either used in the magazine or deemed unusable. Thus the present policy regarding returned material. If you want it back, include a postage-paid suitable envelope and also a written notice that you do indeed want the materials returned.

More website info. Recently when checking this website, I noticed that some of the pages did not display correctly. I believe I have all of that fixed by now, I've checked them on both computers here as well as on my cell phone and they seem to be OK now. But if you are a visitor to this site and notice mistakes on pages, such as text overlapping, running off the page or other web site errors, let me know. Web pages still display somewhat differently on some computers. We now have coding in place that redefines the pages depending on how big the browser window is that you are using. For example, a page that looks great on a big desktop monitor will generally be too small to read and the links nearly impossible to use on a cell phone, so the web page should automatically adjust accordingly. I check these pages on Google chrome, Firefox, Opera and IE.8, but there are many other browsers as well as different versions of each so it is very difficult for me to check the web pages on every possible device. If you see mistakes, send me an e-mail here:

Coding web pages for Internet Explorer version 6.0. I think it's time that I can stop spending any time and effort on making pages that work and display as well as possible on IE6. Use of IE6 has all but completely disappeared. Up till now, I have made special pages that work as well as possible on IE6, but that seems like it is now a wasted effort. Do any of you who get H&W on-line or look at this web site still use that antiquated browser? Believe it or not, I still have IE6 in one computer; I do this just so that I can see how my web pages display on IE6 and what changes I need to make so that they will display there; but I never use IE6 for any serious Internet activity; there are just too many functions on modern browsers that IE6 can't display or use. I'm planning another computer upgrade within the next several months anyhow, and IE6 will no longer figure on that, and if none of you who use these pages or get our on-line editions have IE6, then there is no point in spending any more time and effort with it. Let me know if you still use IE6, but my gut feeling is that I will get a zero response to this request. IE6, see you later!

I should advise you that if you are still using IE6, you should dump it and get the newest version of Internet Explorer that will run on your machine, or any of the other modern web browsers. They're FREE! All you do is Google the browser you want, click it; you get right to the site and then just follow the download instructions. You'd be amazed at how much nicer stuff works and how many more great features you can use that IE6 has no way of delivering to you. And if you are still clinging to an old relic of a computer from the mid nineties, well, all bets are off as to what you can even access on the Internet or how jumbled and screwed up many modern web pages will look. Get a new computer! They're not that expensive and they work so much better and faster than the relics of the nineties. Also, a few areas in the USA still use old fashioned "dial-up" Internet connections. This technology, once widespread, is so relatively slow that many modern web pages will not function on a dial-up Internet connection. Dialup is going the way of the constant-current arc lighting system for streetlights, and municipal DC distribution by utility companies. You still find a few pockets here and there, but it's being phased out. If you are retaining dialup by choice, well, all I can say is that you're making a big mistake here. Call your ISP and tell them that you want to replace it. The improvement in web page performance when going from dialup to hi-speed DSL or especially fiber-optic is unbelievable. Pages that took a half an hour to download will be up and running in a few seconds.

Regarding our on-line subscription methods, I tried another experiment, that of offering automatic subscription renewal. However, nobody wanted that, so that has gone away. I won't renew your subscription when it is up for renewal. YOU will renew it if you want to. I will send you a notice when your subscription is getting close to ending, but it's entirely up to you if you renew or not. I certainly hope that you will renew, but I will not automatically renew it for you. I must admit that I don't like auto-renewal at all. Even though it could be a convenience, I just don't care for some other entity suddenly slipping a charge on my credit card even if it is for something that I want. Absolutely nobody, when given that option, chose to have us auto-renew his subscription. I have seen auto-renewal in many publications, so I figured I would offer it for H&W subscribers. But since you did not want it, it's gone.

And if you are still without a computer by choice, listen to this: everybody whom I know who held out for years on getting a computer and who finally did get one marvels at how much easier it makes many tasks and how useful it has become in a very short time. Also, please don't say that you “are too old to use a computer.” I had a friend who lived to be 101 years old. He had been using computers for the last 31 years, which means he was 70 when he started learning.

I started using a computer when I was 54. I will admit, it was new to me and it was complicated. But I'm very glad that I did indeed take the necessary time to learn.

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