Clay Center Public Utilities Commission Whistle Sounds Four Times a Day For Nearly 100 Years

By Quinn O’Hara

Photo Courtesy of CCPUC

Since the 1930s, the Clay Center Public Utilities Commission has sounded a large whistle from their generation building and has continued to do so for nearly 100 years.

The whistle sounds at 7 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. to signal the beginning, lunch period, and end of each workday. CCPUC said the whistle also used to serve as a tornado warning signal before the days of tornado sirens.

The whistle was originally powered by steam, but CCPUC employees converted it to compressed air in 2002. The same source of compressed air for the whistle is also used to start the massive generator motors housed within the building.

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