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Walking Canes Were a Symbol of Social Status, Wealth and Refinement

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Up until the 1940s, canes and walking sticks were quite common to see in society. They were used as important aids in balance and as fashion statements as well. Canes were a symbol of social status, wealth and refinement.

For the better part of three centuries, walking canes played an important role in men’s fashion. During this period of time, canes were not just used due to an injury or disability, they were used as an ornament too. Typically, most men would own more than just one walking cane. A gentleman would have an everyday cane used for daily activities. He may also have a cane he would use for work, one that was formal in style. There were also men who would have canes made from exotic materials used specifically for formal engagements like parties and dinners.

During the Victorian age and Industrial Revolution, canes served almost solely as an indication of wealth. During these time periods, men often kept an array of canes at their disposal, many with intricate decorations.

The Art Deco period of history produced some of the most interesting and unique canes. Jade and amber are just a couple of materials used during this period to create walking canes.

At the end of World War II, the white cane become a symbol of blind independance. Those who were without sight could identify obstacles as they traveled on foot and motorists were aware that somebody sporting a white cane could not see.

The history of walking canes is intriguing. We shall visit this subject matter again in future posts, so check back.