Many people think the primary purpose of a walking stick is to help the aged and infirm, but not so. For centuries man has used the stick for many different purposes, both decorative and practical. Its first use was as a defensive weapon. Later it became a symbol of authority, carried by tribal chiefs, army officers and policemen, and a costume accessory, an appendage of the swaggering dandy. This book examines the two main groups of walking sticks and canes: gadget sticks and decorative ones. It will be useful not only to cane collectors but also to collectors in general, who will find that the study of canes overlaps many other fields.