York Town Square

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N.Y. Wire/Whistle Archives

Fred Beihl is known to YorkTownSquare.com readers because of his expertise about York safes made by Forry Laucks’ York Safe & Lock for decades before World War II. He’ll be talking about those safes plus others in a presentation to the Stewartstown-Shrewsbury Coin Club from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mason Dixon Public Library in Stewartstown. His presentation will include ‘the storage of valuables and the benefits of real safes vs. department store gun safes.’ He supplied this photo of a 2,000-pound Boston Safe, which must be the first photo on this blog of a safe that wasn’t a York-made safe. So Fred Beihl, also a coin dealer and auctioneer, knows safes of all stock – not just those sturdy vaults made by York Safe & Lock!

Whistlemaster Don Ryan sports a new look, tux and all, in recognition of the York Factory Whistle’s new location on Metso in York, Pa. It was move this year from its longtime home at New York Wire on East Market Street. Another change this year is that the public can see the whistle as it operates on compressed air and the whistlemaster as he performs.

The Glen Rock Carolers will stroll the streets of their southern York County, Pa., again after midnight on Christmas Day. Midnight and thereafter on Christmas Day serves as an interesting intersection of two quaint rites of the season in York County. About 15 miles north, the York Factory Whistle concert kicks off at about the same time. Both customers catch the ears of newspeople. The Glen Rock Carol Singers were featured on a recent BBC broadcast.

The York Factory Whistle’s move to Metso this year is a milestone in the long lifetime of this quirky York County, Pa., concert. This photo captures a moment in 2011 in which a compressed air line is being installed to funnel the power source for the variable-valve whistle at its longtime home, New York Wire. For most of its life, the whistle was powered by steam. A practice at the whistle’s new venue at Metso’s 240 Arch Street, York, plant is set for noon today in preparation for the early Christmas Day concert.

With the news that the New York Wire Factory Whistle Concert is moving to Metso, one might wonder how the annual Christmas Eve concert came about, in the first place. This season’s greetings card put the orchestration in the hands of Karl Alex Smyser. He’s shown here in the narrow room where successor whistlemasters stood to play the steam- – now air – powered instrument, made possible by the whistle’s unusual sliding valve.

Many York countians have heard the New York Wire factory steam whistle on Christmas Eve. But to see it? Well, that’s rare. You could see the steam, but not the fixture itself. So here we see the whistle as it is being dismounted from the roof of New York Wire. It’s new home will be Metso, a couple of blocks away. Which leads the York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News to wonder in an editorial – New factory whistle concerts needed – whether summer concerts might be in the plans, possibly linked in with the Fourth of July fireworks at nearby Sovereign Bank (Santander) Stadium.