AMERICAN POLICE EQUIPMENT - A Guide to Early Restraints, Clubs and Lanterns, Matthew G. Forte, 2000
The author's earlier work, American Police Collectibles - Dark Lanterns and Other Curious Devices, covered the field of early police equipment from the perspective of what had been invented and patented. Hundreds of patents were issued from the 1860s through the 1930s for clubs, handcuffs, mechanical and chain nippers, rattles and lanterns, all designed for police use. Many interesting and novel designs can be seen in the drawings that accompanied patent applications. That an item was new, or even that it was clearly superior to existing equipment, was insufficient to guarantee it would actually be manufactured and marketed.
This book, while covering the same general area, early police equipment, is devoted exclusively to equipment actually made and offered for sale. As such, it is the equipment that collectors will be able to find, in some cases quite easily if the piece was made in large quantities and sold over a long period of time, or in other cases very infrequently if it was only produced for a short time and manufactured in small numbers.
To help identify early police equipment, photographs of each piece have been provided for most of the equipment, as well as period advertisements. The first and last year an item was offered for sale is listed under each photograph, to help the collector know how long a piece of equipment was available. The patent date is also included, if the item was patented, and a dollar value range is listed as a reference point. Values vary over time, in different areas of the country and due to market conditions and demand. The values are for items in "fine" or better condition.
6" x 9 1/4", 248 pages, hundreds of B&W photos and diagrams, hardcover BA8730 / $26.95
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RELATED MATERIAL: AMERICAN POLICE COLLECTIBLES (Dark Lanterns and Other Curious Devices)