The history of the walking cane is an interesting one. It started off as just a simple tool, then eventually became a status symbol for extreme wealth and authority. The cane plays many different roles throughout human history, even though it remains the same basic tool from the very beginning.
One of the first uses of the cane was as a shepherd’s tool. When a shepherd took care of their flock, a good stick came in handy both for standing around all day and for handling animals. It was even useful as a defensive stick and helped people ward off thieves and predators alike.
As time went on, the prevalence of walking canes increased. Shepherds also become more powerful as their influence grew over communities. Their tool, the walking cane, soon became a symbol of power. You can see records of powerful people using canes—even the Egyptian rulers carried these canes and staffs.
In medieval times, the usefulness and prestige of the walking cane didn’t decrease. A scepter was a symbol of supreme ruling power, and the church even used the walking cane as a symbol of the higher offices. This time was also when the term walking cane became the popular name for this tool. Bamboo was a popular material for these tools.
The walking cane became an everyday necessity and a sign of maturity for men. There were permits that one had to get to own a cane to prove that one was a proper gentleman. If a person were to lose their permit, it was a sign that they were no longer a good person in society.
The 1700s to Now
In the late 1700s, canes grew to be everyday fashion for everyone, stemming from the puritans’ use of oak canes. Even women started to carry around fashionable canes, making canes more accessible to everyone. Even now, we link canes to the powerful and elite in our country, with even US presidents receiving canes as gifts.
Now, this is the history of the walking cane, from its earliest use in the hands of the shepherd to the hands of the president. If you are looking to join in this history, Fashionable Canes sells an assortment, from natural wood canes to ornate walking sticks.