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Old 30th December 2013, 05:24 AM   #1
Queequeg
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Default Mechanical Spear

Greetings,

I've been reading a bit about the brandistock, which was essentially a spear which functioned like modern gravity knives or police expandable/collapsible batons.

Does anyone know if there was such a thing as a "mechanical spear"? I'm thinking of something which appeared to be a simple staff, but at the push of a button a (narrow) spear head would have emerged straight from the interior of the shaft, much like the tip of a ball-point pen.

I can well imagine something like this having come out of the age of gears and springs in the late Renaissance.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 06:47 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Well Queequeg you always come up with fascinating topics!
As you have already noted, the brandistock seems to have been a polearm type version of the sword stick used in both civilian and sometimes military or police sectors from 16th to 19th c.
As noted, these operated on a movement initiated extension, but whether any used some sort of mechanical propulsion is anybody's guess.

It seems that arms curiosa and combination weapons have been around for quite some time, but typically were rather 'one-off' except for the well known swords and daggers fitted with pistol barrels which seem quite common in variations.

I suppose it would be worthwhile to consider in what context would such a concealed spear be advantageous. Most concealed arms, such as sword sticks etc. seem to be for use in metropolitan settings where an attack or confrontation would be likely in narrow streets or alleys . In these confined settings it would seem that such a lengthy item would be more of a nuisance, much like a lance in close quarters melee.

In any case, it will be interesting to discover whether anyone has heard of such a 'brandistock' with mechanical apparatus for deploying its blade.
What piqued your interest in this particular anomaly?
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Old 2nd January 2014, 10:24 AM   #3
Gavin Nugent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queequeg
Greetings,

I've been reading a bit about the brandistock, which was essentially a spear which functioned like modern gravity knives or police expandable/collapsible batons.

Does anyone know if there was such a thing as a "mechanical spear"? I'm thinking of something which appeared to be a simple staff, but at the push of a button a (narrow) spear head would have emerged straight from the interior of the shaft, much like the tip of a ball-point pen.

I can well imagine something like this having come out of the age of gears and springs in the late Renaissance.

Thanks in advance.


There were walking canes commonly referred to as flick sticks that operate in this manner, being gravity activated, also swagger sticks and very short sticks 12" in length.
These are mostly Victorian period but they may be older and based on an older idea as the mechanism is simple...Catherine Dike's book is in storage so I can not refer to it at this point in time.

Gavin
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Old 2nd January 2014, 01:05 PM   #4
Queequeg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
In any case, it will be interesting to discover whether anyone has heard of such a 'brandistock' with mechanical apparatus for deploying its blade.
What piqued your interest in this particular anomaly?


Actually, I was out hiking when some feral dogs decided to posture up to me.

A few swings with my (sadly normal) hiking stick and some loud yelling on my part was enough to drive them off, but I was thinking about what a plus a spear point at the push of a button could have been.

It got me thinking that a humble traveler in the late Renaissance or Enlightenment Age might have had something similar, allowing him to travel with a low profile but have a proverbial ace up his sleeve.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 01:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
There were walking canes commonly referred to as flick sticks that operate in this manner, being gravity activated, also swagger sticks and very short sticks 12" in length.
These are mostly Victorian period but they may be older and based on an older idea as the mechanism is simple...Catherine Dike's book is in storage so I can not refer to it at this point in time.

Gavin


Flick sticks! Google has some interesting images of those. Thanks for that term.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 04:49 PM   #6
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Thank you for the response Q , and I must say quite colorful context illustrating your interest!!
Gav, as always, your astute navigation through myriads of arms topics excels phenomenally!

I am always amazed at the ingenuity and mechanical skills often seen in these early times, for example the spring loaded multibladed daggers and others. I was recently reading as well about the devices used in jousting with breakaway lances and shields designed to mechanically break apart for effect.
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