The Clarke Tin Whistle Company was founded by Robert Clarke (born 1816, Suffolk). Robert worked as a farm labourer but used his musical talents to supplement his low wages, he soon started hand producing penny whistles. He made the necessary tools with the help of a local blacksmith, and made his first whistle in 1843.
Needing to broaden his market away from rural Suffolk, he loaded up his handcart and made the 150-mile journey to New Moston, a close suburb of Manchester. He soon built property and engaged a workforce and established himself as the largest whistle manufacturer in England. Robert was followed into this trade by some of his sons and daughters. This same company (The Clarke Tin Whistle Company) is still in production to this very day, although now based in Kent.
Nowadays Clarke Whistles are renowned as a being classic traditional instrument. The Original has a conical metal body and wooden under lip with either a natural finish or the sophisticated black and gold Clarke livery. The other Clarke designs, the Sweetone (a classic of its type) and the newer Meg are very popular too.
Many say that Robert Clarke was the inventor of the Tin Whistle. The Company to this day has sustained its respect worldwide and has done much to encourage many whistlers to develop their talents.