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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jan 6 11:27 PM

Jan 7th, 2016: Garrotting Panic

After London formed the Metropolitan Police Force in 1839, a lot of people who had never thought about street crime, were now worried. After all, they wouldn’t have formed the Police if it wasn’t a problem. Rarely somebody would be garroted with a wire, belt, scarf, or somebody’s arm, but the public reacted more to this so the papers played it for all it was worth. In 1862 a Member of Parliament got garroted for his watch, and the papers went crazy, as did the public, resulting in a new law that stipulated 50 lashes in addition to prison time.

People who had to travel at night hired body guards, traveled in groups, and bought all sorts of defensive devices the entrepreneurs invented and sold. From metal/leather collars to cartoonish spiked collars that would probably be a bigger danger to the wearer, than garrotters. My favorite is Ball’s Patent Anti-Garrotter Belt Pistol.

.36 cal. percussion, 1 1/4" barrel with a very good bore. This is an extremely interesting and extremely rare piece of firearms curiosa, patented February 8, 1858 by Henry Ball of Birmingham. In crime-ridden Victorian London garrotting was merely one of the neat ways one could be robbed or murdered. Stiff leather and even metal-reinforced collar devices were invented to preclude the garrotter from making you his next victim; Mr. Ball's device was one of those ingenious inventions. Basically a percussion pistol mounted to a flat piece of metal, worn in the small of the back and carried with the hammer on a half-cock notch. When entering a dangerous situation or when one felt threatened, the wearer would reach behind his back with his left hand and fully cock the hammer. If indeed attacked by a garrotter there was a pull cord with a turned knob fastened at the waistline which would trigger the device, sending a .36 caliber lead ball into the offending garrotter's midsection thereby dissuading him from pursuing any further strangulation or decapitating action.
Might need a chiropractor after that goes off in the small of your back.

link and link

DanaC  Thursday Jan 7 05:28 AM

That era of criminal history is really interesting.

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jan 7 10:19 PM

When society grows to where there are haves and have-nots, there will be crime. Guaranteed.

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