The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

The title says it all really. The thing I have is that I am just starting to make a few canes for myself, and have looked a little into their history. Apparently the true mark of a gentle man was to carry a cane. But I feel I would become annoyed having something in my hands the whole time, (I am a doer, a jumper, a climber.)

I also read there was a certain etiquette to cane use. One did not carry it, drag it, lean on it, write in the dirt with it, or pick your nose with it, (sorry. I made that last one up.)

So, who out there uses a cane as a fashion statement rather than mobility aid. How do you find it, and what do you do with it? (Yes, I know you hold it in your hand by the knobby or bent end and walk with it,   I mean when you are not walking!) When you do walk with it, do you prefer to match your step with it, or give an additional swing for flair and panache?

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Seeing as it's modern times, any which way how whether or not you want. 

I enjoy propping it against my shoulder and hold it. Or tuck it under my arm like a general. Or dance with it. Or use it for leaning, or prodding people or my cat when she won't move. Gently of course, she's an old girl.

Am i allowed to poke my students with it?

Cheers, get a bit caught up in doing things proper don'tchaknow

A cane was the gentleman's substitute for the sword and much affected by dandies . Whistler carried one and used it as a weapon . A story , attributed to Aubrey Beardsley ( among others ) is that he was asked how he had come down with something as common as a cold . He replied that he thought it was the result of leaving one of the tassels off his cane .
However you decide to carry it the Professor does not recommend prodding cats or anyone else .

hmm, so you are saying canes are not for gents, or at least only the dandy ones. This may well be true, as they are an accessory to fashion, not a useful object. Then again, neither is a top hat. 

I have seen a bit on cane defense (a gentleman never starts a fight, but is entitled to end one), but can't say learning to fight is my cup of tea.

Gad Sir , you speak as if you have never worn a top hat or carried a cane .
A gentleman may dress in whatever manner he chooses.
Do not take the path of the dandy lightly . It is dark and full of peril .

As indeed i haven't, excepting the hat i bought once in Italy, but i was just a young pup, and it became crushed one night after being slept on due to a bad case of alcohol. i aim to procure another as soon as one makes itself available.

I am creating these discussions to show my foolhardy ignorance of the finer mannerisms in life, but also to learn the path of the true gentleman. The  way of the dandy to me is full off shadows, and i aim to shun such a place wherever i may.

In the Professor's long forgotten youth his cane was regarded as an affront ( or potential lethal weapon ) by the forces of darkness who guarded the entrances to places of entertainment .

Rather than be refused entry the Professor bowed to reality . There are times when making a fashion statement is not a priority . 

The children who man the barricades today would probably exclude the Professor for  requiring a walking cane  for more practical purposes .

A note Professor ... Within the jurisdiction of the US they may not bar entry to anyone using a cane as a walking aid.  Even the scoundrels at airport security cannot get away with that.

Bully !

so you have used a cane for a while, and not always as a walking aid. I am having a few difficulties with the swing. Is it just a matter of comfort, or is there a certain form? i find moving it in time with my leg to be too fast, but swinging it leisurly (about 1 1/2 steps to each placement) shows that is solely for show, with little practicality.

We are probably conflating the walking aid with what one might call a swagger stick .
The latter , in its current form , probably owes something to the military where it was ( and may still be ) a symbol of authority . It may have replaced the sword in some less formal ' walking out ' versions of military dress .
This is a much shorter version and of no practical use to the civilian except for looking good .
Having just suffered through the first Guy Ritchie ' Sherlock Holmes ' travesty ( again ) it was interesting that the costume designers gave Watson ( a retired military doctor ) a rather nifty cane which he carried under one arm .

"a much shorter version and of no practical use to the civilian except for looking good" (Prof. Fate in reference to the military swagger stick) Having been a Private in the Army of the United States back before "Mommy" and Congress got in the way, I can assure you that in the hands of a competent Officer or NCO...  Think Filipino stick fighting.

As for the cane itself, it was a replacement for the sword that gentlemen (not just the military) carried when walking about.  Some of the old canes were actual cane (thus the name).  Though initialy a weapon as well as a fashion statement, today it is far more often seen as the latter.  In Victoria's day, James, it would have been both; however, there is no need for it to be now.

Carrying it under the arm as Dr. Watson does in the film is a way, once you get used to its presence, to avoid the need to swing it at all.


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