Old Black Wood Police "Billy Club."
Old Black Wood Police "Billy Club".
Wooden Straight Batons
Wooden billy clubs, truncheons, batons, espantoons, and fire axe handles were among the first weapons to be issued to law enforcement. They’re still considered by many to be among the most useful and reliable tools carried by police officers.
Mastering the straight baton was once a point of pride for officers, who used them for communication, guiding traffic, and detaining suspects. In the Victorian Era, English ‘billy clubs’ were individually decorated with the Royal coat of arms to denote their service to the crown, and often marked with the initials or family crest of the user.
From the beginning, police forces were discouraged from using their baton to deliver dangerous strikes to criminals. However, the early wooden designs were incredibly sturdy and could cause bone breaks, concussive damage, and other serious injuries when applied to vulnerable targets on the body.
This use of billy clubs carried over to American police forces, where Baltimore police units became famous for twirling their large wooden espantoons while walking their beats. Because these weapons were so formidable, the implied threat of violence would often stop a fight before it even started.
Unfortunately, overuse of the straight baton created a negative public image for the tool following the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Televised images of the police force using their batons on minorities gave it a bad rap, and today, straight wooden batons are the no longer standard issue in most jurisdictions. The only ones you’re likely to see on the street were grandfathered in, which means whoever’s carrying it probably has decades of police experience under their belt.
Item Code - MIS7D100421ULA
Width: 1 1/4" Height: 22" Depth: 1 1/4" Weight: 268 g
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