Street Seller of Walking Sticks c 1860
The Walking Stick Shop
Count d'Orsay French Dandy 1801-1852
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PROFESSIONAL OR BADGES OF OFFICE

The Bishop's Crozier or shepherd's crook, tipstaff's cane or Black Rod in the Houses of Parliament are fairly obvious examples, but how about the gold headed cane for doctors of medicine, cavalry officers, politicians and admirals?
The silver top cane on a black shaft for bankers, funeral directors and engineers.
Ecclesiastical "dodsmen" the forerunners of architects or surveyors had such canes, and just as a point of interest any town that ends with "dod" was probably a base for such activity.
The clenched fist was used by rent collectors to hold up against the window above the front doors to announce their presence.
First World War pilots carried Partridge cane walking sticks or sticks made from aeroplane propellors.
Members of the legal profession had silver top canes on Malacca, and bakers or caterers often carried an ivory ball topped cane which had evolved from a guild's cane, representing a ball of dough.
The list is endless.

SOCIAL STATUS

Nowadays it would not be politically correct to judge a person by the cut of his clothes or the type of car he drives, but wind the clock back a century or so and there you have it.
Poor person looked poor, rich person looked rich, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that invariably an expensive cane announced that the owner was from "the top drawer"... so my friends, gold, silver, semi precious stones or imported rarities said..."You've made it".

WEAPON STICKS

Carry a heavy cane and you have half a chance of defending yourself.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) successfully defended himself against six ruffians with his heavy oak cane.
Sherlock Holmes used a "Penang Lawyer", and John Steed in "The Avengers" had his sword cane.
We of course do not advocate violence, but put it this way it's cheaper to purchase a cane than a coffin.
Sticks have always been used to keep animals away, not to hit them, but just to point the stick at an aggressive dog. They will, I hope, back away. A blind animal is a dead animal in the jungle and one hopes that it's inherent in the particular dog which threatens you.
Now I can't say for sure that it will always work, and please don't blame me if you get bitten trying it.
IT'S JUST A THEORY, oh but then think of the lion tamer holding back a pride of lions with a chair, pointing the legs at the beasts... and yes, you're ahead of me aren't you...
I know, don't bother to buy a stick, walk down the road, with a dining room chair....you heard it from me first!

 
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