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One of the oldest and most distinctive pieces of nautical equipment, the pipe or flute was used in Greece and Rome to keep the stroke of galley slaves.
The pipe was used in the Crusades to call English cross bowmen on deck for attack. In time, the pipe came to be used as a badge of office by commanders.
The whistle was used for salutes to distinguished persons as well as to pass orders. A 1645 publication detailing honors for an admiral, orders; "The ship's barge to be sent to fetch the visitor having the cockson with his silver whistle in the stern... Upon the near approach of the barge the noise of the trumpets are to sound and so to hold on until the barge comes within less than musket shot, at that time the trumpets are to cease and all such as carry whistles are to whistle a welcome three several times."
The parts of the pipe are the buoy, gun, keel and shackle.
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