Walking Stick or cane

   The Walking Stick, or Cane, is a slender instrument in use from the remotest antiquity, not merely for helping to support the weight of the person, but for the appearance of dignity and elegance it lends. Developments from the walking stick are the pas­toral staff, the scepter, the constable's baton or staff, and the rod or wand of office generally. The pilgrim's staff in the Middle Ages was a stout stick four feet long and made hollow at the top, presumably for containing relies; but the hollow was sometimes convenient for conveying secretly valuable plants, seeds, or eggs (such as saffron and silkworm eggs), of which Chinese, Turks, and Greeks forbade the export. At a later date the tall sticks of doctors had a smaller receptacle to contain snuff or other supposed disinfectants. Magnificent and costly sticks were part of the equipment of fops in the 18th century. For the making of walking sticks almost every kind of wood is used. Thus in England oak, ash, crab, hazel, sloe or blackthorn, broom, and juniper are favorite woods. Small stems or canes of some palms — as Malacca canes and Penang lawyers — are imported into London in large numbers; the midribs of some palm leaves are serviceable, as are shoots of bamboo, of orange, myrtle, cinnamon, and sweet cherry. The heads — Hat, round, crooked — may be of the same piece of wood or may be fixed on, carved or plain, made of deer's or other horn, or of ivory or silver.