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  1. #1
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    "Metal Rattle"

    Has anyone ever seen a "Metal Rattle", made out of steel with a wooden handle, similar to the one pictured below, please? The example, pictured below, has been in my family for years but I have never been able to establish exactly it's origin, how old it is, or if it dates to WW2. My grandfather was an air raid warden during WW2 but all gas warning rattles that I have seen or am aware of have either been made entirely of wood or nearly all of wood. I have never seen any reference to a gas warning rattle being made of steel, apart from the handle.

    Could it, perhaps, have been a post WW2 fire warning rattle or a "football supporter's rattle", again I have seen no similar example.

    I rather think that the 2 holes drilled in each side of the frame are non original.

    Any help much appreciated, please. Thanks
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    Maybe the holes are for pins that would lock or deactivate it? It might still work with a pin in the hole farther from the handle but with a different sound. I've never seen one of these before. - Bob

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    I think, in the 1970's, my father had the idea to "make it look like a wooden rattle" by "putting a wooden box round it" because he wanted one of the wooden type WW2 gas warning rattles but didn't have one. After managing to drill 2 holes in each side of the frame he gave up on the idea and eventually purchased 2 original WW2 wooden gas warning rattles of different designs. Fortunately I still have these wooden rattles and have just cleaned them up a bit.

    Interestingly the idea of using a rattle to warn of a gas attack in WW2 seems to have come from WW1 when wooden rattles were sometimes used to warn of gas.

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    Legacy Member jond41403's Avatar
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    How loud would one of those have been? This is my first time seeing one as well and I'm trying to imagine how loud it would be and how far the sound would be projected
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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    It's not as loud as one may expect or as loud as the "WW2 wooden gas rattle" of which I have a couple of different designs. I will post photos in due course.

    One of the wooden rattles has a metal "C" section screwed to one side which acts to amplify the sound.

    I also have a couple of the brass "all clear" bells that would have signalled the danger from gas had passed.
    Last edited by Flying10uk; 11-04-2022 at 09:56 PM.

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Were they ever marketed for scaring off birds etc. from farms? Looks too expensive/well made for a mere soccer rattle.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surpmil View Post
    Were they ever marketed for scaring off birds etc. from farms?
    Good question. My family did run a small holding for a few years in the early 1950's and so it is possible it was purchased for that.

    I am slowly gathering together the various farming hand tools that my father had from the late 1940's when he started work on a farm. In those days much of the work was either done by hand or often still with horses. I will start a thread on the subject when I have more of the tools gathered together.

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