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    "Pathfinder" Swagger Stick

    $480 (approx conversion from £395)

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    Hampshire, United Kingdom

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    About this item

    The "Pathfinder" a private purchase officers Swagger Stick by Howell of London.

    This is a first in my experience, and I suspect, a real rarity. This swagger stick, produced by the very well regarded walking stick, cane and umbrella maker Henry Howell of London, incorporates a trench light. 

    The stick's lower section is produced from polished bamboo, whilst the upper is fabricated from a hollow brass handle, bound in brown leather and stitched along the seam. This incorporates a brass aperture with a sliding door, which, when opened, reveals a small glass light bulb.

    Stamped on the leather just below this window is  "PATHFINDER" REGd PRO.PAT. 28322", with the "HOWELL LONDON" button inset into the leather just below.

    The top of the leather section forms a cap which can be removed to access the removable brass battery and bulb compartment.

    As can be seen from the images, utilising modern AA batteries the stick is still functional, although due to either the smaller modern batteries, or weakness of the spring, very slight pressure needs to be applied to activate the connection. I'm sure this could be tinkered with if desired.

    An accurate date for the invention of the stick may be identified from the apllied patent number, but I would imagine this stick dates to WW1. Howell went out of business in 1837, so it seems unlikely that there would have been much demend for such a device after the Great War had ended. 

    Another example is held in the Imperial War Museum. 

    The stick measures 24 inches overall. Condition overall is very good, exhibiting minor scuffing wear to the leather. This would have been an expensive private purchase novelty, so it is unlikely to have been produced in high numbers.

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    Additional Information

    Code

    11658 (MZ-40452)

    Period

    WW1

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