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 Espantoon Collection

Espantoon Info/History

Webster's Third Edition: "An Espantoon In Baltimore, a policeman's stick" We would like to start out by saying we collect Nightsticks, Espantoons, Batons, Truncheons, Billy Clubs Etc. - If you have one for sale, or donation let us know as we are interested.  For what might be obvious reasons we particularly like Baltimore style sticks, aside from their being the sticks carried by our brothers they also show a progression not just in what we carried, or had made, but what the department had made for us. While we like Baltimore sticks, we collect them all, from any state in the U.S. to any country in the world.

We hope to start a Baltimore Police Museum and would like to have as many we can to show what police have used for years to protect themselves and the public. Initially, it could be a rolling museum, and they will be used to show the differences over the years, as well to show how they wear, due to their having been carried everywhere with an officer over his or her career. As for the Museum, Commissioner Batts has promised us the old Headquarters Museum again, so as soon as possible we will be trying to get back into that museum, and able to show off our history to the public. 

Ed Bremmer nightsticks quote

Follow-up, in 2015 we signed a lease with the city of Baltimore to use what they call the Gallery in Headquarters, it should be opening soon [May 2017] We have a nice Espantoon exhibit on display with a Nomenclature stick color coded to better describe the parts of our Baltimore baton.



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 1 - Long Straight Stick (Mounted or Riot) possibly homemade 

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2 - Joe Hlafka  Espantoon

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 3 - Leather wrapped Billy club (black jack) 

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4 - Truncheon with a "Fingerlock Grip" came to us Courtesy Basil Wilson

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5 - BPD Issue Stick, courtesy Porter Antiques

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6 - Homemade lead filled Club


7 -  4ft Koga Riot/Mounted Stick - Courtesy Kirk Kluver


 8 - Straight Stick - Fluted on one end


9 -  Long stick Mounted or Riot with Finger grip


 10 - Long stick with a custom grip on one end and a Knobkierie, also spelled knobkerrie, Knobkierie or Knobkerry


11 - Straight Stick - Ring groove grip


12 - Straight stick, Billy


 13 - Baltimore Officer Stick - Courtesy Raymond Wheatley


14 - Ed Bremer Style Espantoon by K & I Creative Plastics and Wood LLC, located in Jacksonville, Florida


 15 - Stock Security Sparrows Point Police Dept. - Courtesy Mrs. Dottie Bethlehem Steel Security - Barrel Head/ Ring Grip


 16 - Straight Stick 


 17 - Joe Hlafka Style Espantoon with Irish design on grip end


18 -  Joe Hlafka Espantoon


19 - Joe Hlafka style Espantoon - Made by K & I Creative Plastics and Wood LLC, located in Jacksonville, Florida 

This is the Unicorn, hard to find often talked about rarely seen "Lignum Vitae" - I have heard people often say they have a stick made of this or know someone with a stick made of this, a friend of friend's neighbor's father had a stick made of this. But they can never produce it. So I asked my friend Jim Brock at K&I if they ever come up with the wood and can turn it, I would like to be their first customer. Not long after he found enough wood to make four sticks, I bought 001, and I know 002 was purchased by a collector in Illinois - Jim made stick number 003 and liking the stick so much he was thinking about keeping it. So he may still have one stick 004 for sale, I can't be sure. I have another collector that ordered one, so he may have gotren 003 Since Jim never really took it from his shop, or he may have gotten 004. I am sure if anyone is interested a 005 could be ordered, but this is a nice heavy stick. The wood, also called "guayacan" or "guaiacum," and in parts of Europe known as "pockholz," from trees of the Genus Guaiacum is so dense and so heavy it won't float. At one time they were turning this wood to be used as a crankshaft in boats. Baltimore Police department banned this wood for use on their Espantoons back in the late 60's early 70's. 


 20 - 4ft plus Straight Stick - Koga Riot/Mounted


 21 - Straight Stick - Fluted on both ends


22 - Unstained Joe Hlafka Style Espantoon


 23 - M1944 MP Billy Club


 24 - Carl Hagen Espantoon circa early 1960's


25 -  Billy Club


 26 - BPD Issue Courtesy Ray Wheatley


 27 - Presentation Nightstick - Ring Grip is also Fluted


 28 - Nightstick has a Chicago look to the barrelhead (Note the Ring Groove, then Space and Ring Groove continued much the way a Chicago barrel head would be designed)  


 29 - Smith & Wesson Billy club


 30 - 1930's W S Darley Club, at the time this hand turned, Hickory Police Club, sold for a whopping 87¢ and if you sent cash; you would save a gigantic 3% bringing your cost down to around 85¢ (these came in a blond or dark stain


31 - Vintage Policeman's Billy Club from the estate of the late Welsh/American 
entertainer/actress, Tessie O'Shea. This hardwood Police Nightstick 
Measures approximately 22.5" x 1.25" in diameter; the leather strap (no swivel).
Mrs. O'Shea was in Bedknobs and Broomsticks as well she played herself in The Blue Lamp


32 - Chicago Stick


33 Baltimore Police Prototype - Marked BCPD 131


 34 - Thin Blue Line Stick, turned in a Carl Hagen design. This came about after a dream. I woke up thinking about it and contacted K& I Plastic's Jim Brock I explained the idea in which I dreamt I laminated a piece of wood stained Blue between two Black stained blocks of wood and turned a thin blue line stick. I told him about this around 9 am and by noon he had a mock up by the end of the day he had turned the stick, and by the end of the week, it was at my doorstep. Now he makes them in any color a customer might want, The Thin Blue Line is popular, but the Harley Black and Orange isn't far behind.


35 - Chicago Officer's stick


 36 - Joe Hlafka Stick purchased from Joe in 1987 for $12.50


 37 - Ed Bremer stick Authentic  DSC5131

38 - BPD ISSUE Re-Make Courtesy Jim Brock


39 -  Purpleheart Wood Espantoon - Courtesy Chase Armington & Elite Espantoons


40 - Baltimore Officer's Stick


41 -  Smith & Wesson Billy Club


42 -  M1944- MP Billy Club


43 - Carl Hagen Espantoon Re-make - Courtesy Jim Brock


44 -  Carl Hagen Espantoon Authentic


45 - BPD Issue (Billy club style)


46  - BPD Issue Style Espantoon with 6 Inlaid Diamonds to Represent The Baltimore Six 


  47 - BPD Issue


  48 - BPD Officer's stick


 49 - Officer's Stick Baltimore


 50 - Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson DSC5144

 51 - Billy Club

 DSC5145  52  - - Day Stick


 53 - WWII Baton


 54 - Daystick


 55 - Presentation Stick = Courtesy Bobby Brown


 56 - Billy club


 57 - Knobkierie 1930's/40's shipped from Carmeil Isreal - to us for our Museum they are from the 1930's-40's and the British Mandate Period of Palestine  - Shipped to us from carmeil, Israel - A Knobkierie, also spelled knobkerrie, Knopkierie or knobkerry, is a form of club used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy's head. The knobkierie is carved from a branch thick enough for the knob, with the rest being whittled down to create the shaft. This is about 16" long the knob at the end is about the diameter of a golf ball. The name derives from the Afrikaans word KNOP, meaning KNOT or BALL and the Nama (one of the Khoekhoe languages) word KIERIE, meaning cane or walking stick. The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands, and other places. Knobkieries were an indispensable weapon of war, particularly among southern Nguni tribes such as the Zulu (as the IWISA) and the Xhosa. Knobkieries was occasionally used during World War I The weapon also being carried by British soldiers in Siegfried Sassoon's fictionalized autobiography. During the Apartheid era in South Africa, they were often carried and used by protesters and sometimes by the police opposing them. The Knobkierie is still widely used and carried, especially in rural areas, while in times of peace it serves as a walking or swagger-stick. The head, or knob, is often ornately carved with faces, or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The knobkierie itself serves this function on the current South African Coat of Arms, and on the "Order of Mendi" for Bravery. A KNOBKIERIE also appeared on the flag of Lesotho 1987-2006, the Coat of Arms of Lesotho since its independence in 1966 as well as the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Ciskei.



 58 - Koga Baton (AKA Koga Stick) Courtesy Todd Eibner


 59 - Home made straight Baton


 60 -  Koga Baton Courtesy Craig Meier


 61 - Straight Stick 


62 - Billy Club


63 - BPD Issue


64 - Straight Stick with finger lock grooves


65 - Koga Stick - Courtesy Joe Koga


66 - Straight Stick - Fluted on one end


67 - Straight stick


68 - Straight Stick with a Ring Grip


69 - Straight Stick - Courtesy Denny Driscoll Jr


70 - 1930's W. S. Darley Club

darley nightstick

Receipt for Darley Billy Club/Nightstick 
Distributed through W.S. Darley & Company, Chicago 


 71 - Straight Stick - Ring grip


 72 -  Monadnock® PR24 Training Stick PR-24 - One Piece Design


 73 - Monadnock® PR24 - One Piece Design


74 - BPD Issue - Riot/Mounted Espantoon


75 - Baton - Looking at the thong and the way it is attached, you' notice this stick is not used like a Baltimore Stick, and in this case, the "Barrel Head" actually is the handle and the "Shaft End" of the stick is the Striking/Jabbing end. This vintage turned hardwood police baton is 22" Long


76 - Home made Espantoon - Made by me in 1991/92


77 - Smith & Wesson nightstick (Billy Club) stamper S&W on the side


78 - Straight Stick - Fluted on one end


79 - BPD Issue - Courtesy Ray Wheatley


80 - BPD Issue - Courtesy Ray Wheatley


81 - Joe Hlafka Espantoon Given to me by a retired Baltimore Police Lieutenant


82 - Shore Patrol Nightstick


83 - Monadnock Lifetime Night Sticks - with Metal Ball on top - Courtesy Scott and Katie Leahan Doyle


84 - Straight Stick - with aluminum number plate


85 - Joe Hlafka Espantoon


86 - BPD Issue with a white leather strap/thong - Courtesy Patty


87 - Smith & Wesson Billy Club


88 - BPD Issue. 1920's Baltimore City Police issued Espantoon. 

This is an interesting stick courtesy of Porters Antiques it is a 1920's BPD Issue that has been modified by the officer. It was not uncommon in the 1920's for our police to whittle away at their issued Espantoon, carving away at the convex portion of the barrel head to give them an entirely new look. (We are thinking of modifying a modern Issue stick in a similar way but removing the convex bow of the barrel head then adding late 1800's Convex BPD button to the top of the Barrel Head) It was common for an officer to reshape the barrel head, even stain or burnish their stick to give them a totally unique look. Here we have a case where the officer shaved away the convex barrel head to give himself a more straight stick look. Once the Barrel was straight he added some design by carving grooves in the newly formed Burl head _ the following stick seems to be what he was going for


89 -  Straight Espantoon - Courtesy Paul Hauer


90 - BPD Issue (These are Stock police supply nightsticks when out agency ran out of Baltimore Issued sticks and our supplier on Pratt Street was out, we had to buy these from local Police supply houses. I know of several officers having been issued these in the mid to late 50's - Other than our using them as a backup stick for issuing to Academy classes in the 1950's these were commonly found in use by area security guards and small police forces, like Sparrows Point. One thing other than 


91 - Homemade Stick - Espantoon purchased by and Courtesy Denny Driscoll

 DSC650292 - M1944 SP Navy Billy Club with knot top lanyard


93 - M1944 Shore Patrol SP This stick and the next are from the same year, notice this one is painted white with a black handle; The next stick is all black but the same shape, and if we look close we'll notice the it was painted all white and then has black paint over the white. 

 DSC520294 - M1944 MP Billy Club MP This stick and the previous are from the same year, notice this one is painted all black. The previous stick is all white with a black handle. They are both the same shape, and if we look close we'll notice this stick was painted all white and then has black paint over it. 


95  - M1944 MP Billy Club


96 - M1944 MP Billy Club


 97 - M1944 MP Billy Club


98 - Presentation Stick

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 99 - Straight Stick 


100 - Monadnock Lifetime Night Sticks 


 101 - BPD Issue Courtesy Ray Wheatley


 102 - Straight Stick Ring Groove


 103 - Straight Stick


 104 - PR24 - 2 pieces 


105 - M1944 MP Billy Club


106 - 1930's W S Darley Club, at the time this hand turned, Hickory Police Club, sold for a whopping 87¢ and if you sent cash; you would save a gigantic 3% bringing your cost down to around 85¢ (these came in a blond or dark stain)


 107 - 1920's BPD Issue Espantoon 


 108 - Straight stick courtesy Lt George Jeffery 
Middletown, Ohio


109 - BPD ISSUE 1940's Billy (Riot/Mounted Issue)


110 -  BPD Issue unstained circa 1987


111 - Carl Hagen circa 1957/1960. This is one of his early sticks, when Carl started he made his sticks similar in size to the issued sticks of Baltimore, but with his own shape, then as his competition started making sticks bigger and of different wood types Mr hagen had to follow suite. So while this stick looks like all his others, it is much smaller, serving as an indication of age. 


112 - Monadnock Lifetime Night Sticks - with Metal Ball on top


 113 - M1944 MP Billy Club


 114 - Carl Hagen - Courtesy ray Wheatley


 115 - Presentation stick Courtesy Bobby Brown


 116 - Nightstick 1920's NYPD


 117 - Monadnock Lifetime Night Sticks 


118 - BPD Issue 


 119 - M1944 MP short stick (we are not sure if this was a prototype of some sort, or if it was an MP that cut it down for some reason, but it is a shorter version of an M1944 that appears to been done professionally


 120 - M-1910 Pick-Mattock Handle (1940's) 
This was used for multiple tools, it had a pickaxe carried in a canvas case in two parts.
Used for intrenching, but like most tools of this size/shape, it was also used in hand-to-hand 
combat from to time to time when all else failed


121 - Billy Club


122 - Mounted/Riot stick


123  - Leather Covered Nightstick


124 - Oversize Joe Hlafka Espantoon


125 - 1920's BPD Issue


126 - 1920's BPD Issue was Sgt. Edward Thomas Weitzel


127 - 1930's/40's shipped from Carmiel Israel to us for our Museum they are from the 1930's-40's and the British Mandate Period of Palestine Shipped to us from carmeil, Israel.  

Stick #57 is a "Knobkerrie" or "Kirri". It takes its name from the Dutch word "Knop" (meaning "Knob" or "Button") and is the name of a weapon used by Southern African people such as the Zulu and the Xhosa or Thembu people.  It was used for chasing game and at times for warfare. It is probable that Army or Police Officers who had served in some of the African areas adopted the knobkerrie as a Swagger or Walking-stick. Stick #74 the one to the far left Palestine circa 1936.  British Palestine Police on duty in Clock Tower Square, Jaffa, faced Arab crowds.  The front rank of police were armed with pickaxe handles whilst the second rank carries small circular metal riot shields & the standard truncheon.  The BPP at this time had stocks of truncheons provided from London Metropolitan police stores. The reason some police carried pickaxe handles was because of the longer reach, as opposed to the shorter truncheon.  It was not a case of the Arab members of the Force carrying an inferior riot control weapon, (in fact the pickaxe was probably more exspensive weapon than a regulation truncheon) some of the British police on duty that day also carried and used the pickaxe handles.   


128 -


129 - 


130 - Billy Club


131 - Joe Hlafka Espantoon Keychain


132 - Day Stick


133 - This stick is from Palestine circa 1936. British Palestine Police on duty in Clock Tower Square, Jaffa, faced Arab crowds.  The front rank of police were armed with pick-axe handles whilst the second rank carry small circular metal riot shields & the standard police Truncheon.  The BPP at this time had stocks of Truncheons provided from London Metropolitan police. The reason some police carried pick-axe handles was because of the longer reach, as opposed to the shorter reach of the standard issue Truncheon.  It was not a case of the Arab members of the Force carrying an inferior riot control weapon, (in fact the pick-axe was probably a more expensive weapon than a regulation/surplus Truncheon) some of the British police on duty that day also carried and used the pick axe handles which were often cut in half, a hole drilled and leather or rope thong added so as to prevent the weapon from being stripped away during rioting.


134 - 1950s Soviet Russia Russian Traffic Militia GAI Pointsman Vintage Wooden Baton Like the above stick #92 This Baton was designed to be used as a defensive weapon; or for Point Control while the officer directs traffic  Shipped to us from Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia


135 - Vintage Soviet USSR Policeman Pointsman Road Traffic Baton Stick 1940s/50's
Shipped to us from Vilnius, Lithuania


136 - Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson


137 - Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson






140 - Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson


141 -  Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson


142 -  Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson


143 - Billy Club Ring Grip / Billy Club Grip - Courtesy Tricia


144 - Courtesy Tricia - West German Police "Gummi Knuppel" or "Gummi Wapenstock".  This type was in use with all German Lander forces for years & was carried concealed in a pocket of the uniform trousers. The metal protrusion on top was utilized when the baton was carried attached to the uniform belt when the officer was engaged in the initial stages of public order duty, before officers dressed in riot gear are brought forward as the situation escalates & the level of force required rises. Also used as a Police Baton in Yugoslavia back in the 1960's and 70's 


145 - 


 146 - Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson

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147 - Courtesy Steve Dash Turned by Steve Dash in style of a Joe Hlafka Espantoon This is a Table Leg- Beautiful Lathe work - Awesome Grain and it spins like butter; smooth and easy.

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148- Irish Shillelagh - Burrel Head  

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 149 - BPD Issue 2015 Riot Stick   


 150 - This is similar to the stick used in a BPD Prototype stick that has a brass plate and post car number
See Stick #33


151 - Louisville Slugger


152 - Carl Hagen 1950/1960


153 - Day Stick

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154 - Courtesy Claude Melcher
PR-24 Monadnock ®

 21271190 10211220881261316 8638521152933844669 n155 - COV stick, not 100% what I had exspected, but it does sort of convey the Valor Ribon
21314733 10211220882981359 3375473688014869021 n156 - Billy Club

21317469 10211220881421320 7379131003351863505 n

157 - Espantoon

21317545 10211220880781304 1895812870194819504 n

158 - Mourning Stick (has a black line up the middle like a mourning ribbon)

21317920 10211220883901382 1881911624495296007 n

159 - Captian Meek's BPD Issue Stick

21432722 10211220883381369 5772937225311728052 n

160 - Espantoon



More to Come  
We have over 200 sticks but need to shoot all of them again so we can add them to the site and credit who they came from. If you see a stick that you gave to us please send us the number of the stick and your name, I will see to it that it is added and credited as it should be. I know those that gave sticks mean a lot to Ken and he wants to credit them. He also recently had sticks given to him they will be photographed soon so that we can add them to the page and properly credit the officer that gave it to him. 


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2/3's of the collection



 Initial Collection

Ten Stick Museum Display described from Bottom to Top, the Bottom stick is our Color-Coded Nomenclature stick made by K&I Creative Plastics and Wood using a Joe Hlafka style Espantoon that is color-coded. The next five sticks are all made by K&I and are described as follows first up is an Unstained BPD Issue, followed by a Stained BPD Issue that has a Thong attached. Above this is a Carl Hagen stick with a thong (no swivel) above this is an Ed Bremer style Espantoon with a thong (no swivel)  above this is our last K&I stick it is done in the Joe Hlafka Espantoon with a thong  (Joe started adding swivels to the thong/strap in the early 1970's - so his stick in this collection has a swivel ) Above Joe's stick is an authentic 1920's/1930's BPD Issue. Above that is a 1940's/1950's BPD Issue unstained (during that period they had a clear coat, officers used to scrape or sand off that clear coat and stain the sticks to a tone of their liking (often they used a dark wood, or burnished color, however it is said that many officers would use the iodine from the radio car's FiAidAide kit,) Above this unstained stick is a 1960's to late 1980's BPD Issue stick. Comparing the sticks primarily the Barrel-Head we see the quality of the turn has lost some of the detail and quality of workmanship. Looking at the shafts, we see for the most part we used a straight shaft, but the 1940s'/1950's stick has a tapered shaft (this is more of a Billy Club style) but this stick is also longer which puts it in the category of a mounted or riot stick and in Baltimore the only time we had a tapered stick was on a rare occasion when our mounted or riot sticks came in that way but typically they too were straight shaft sticks. Likewise, we used to have to buy a stock Police Supply stick on occasion; this was typically when we ran out and our regular supplier didn't have anything in stock. The top stick in this ten stick display is a 1990's Baltimore Issue Koga Baton, a stick that us active police at the time called a Koga stick

numbered stucks 72
My Collection Numbered
1. A Strait Stick 2. A Riot, or Mounted Stick 3. One of Nightstick Joe's Sticks 4. An Elite Espantoon's Stick 5. A Baltimore Stick 6. A Billy Club gift from my son, and Daughter-in-law, late 1790's early 1800's 7. Gift from my Nephew 8. My BPD Issued Stick Un-stained 9. A Gift from my wife 10. An NYPD Nightstick - notice no strap ridge 11. A mid to late 1800's Day Stick 12. Ret. K9 Officer, Robert "RAM" Miller's Nightstick Carl Hagen 13. My Old stick I turned it in the early 90's 14. A friend of the Family's Nightstick, She was a Security Guard down Sparrow's Point in the 1970's   



 Sticks Owned by our Brothers in Blue

Send us a pic of your Espantoon to add to the page

 Distler 1Jimmy Distler

10844894 10204613982487231 2050274706 o
Andre Nock


Brian Schwaab
Brian Schwaab

Nick Hershan
Nick Hershan

Mike Maurer
Mike Maurer
Oversize stick



That's it for Now But with the number of sticks being sent in as gifts and those I buy, this will be continued for sure. Thanks for looking

Handcuffs and Restraints

Devider color with motto

Keep checking back for a great story that will go here... we are waiting for the information and confirmation - Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or contact us for a mailing address
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll




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