THE COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO THE SCHOOL STRAP: Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, Australia & Others
- THE COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO THE SCHOOL STRAP
- Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, Australia & Others
- by Harold A. Hoff
- Booksurge Publishing,
Notice by C. Farrell New for 2009 is this marvellously well-researched catalogue of school punishment straps. There are over 250 colour illustrations. The book is 145 pages long and goes into tremendous detail about the different kinds of straps used in different countries.
The Scottish leather tawse takes pride of place. I had no idea there were so many different kinds: not just numerous varieties of the famous Lochgelly, about which we get an interesting potted history, but several other manufacturers too.
Canada, the home of the book's author, where in modern times the straps tended to be made of canvas and rubber rather than leather, is also covered. There are shorter sections for England, Ireland, the USA and Germany (these being places where the strap was not the most usual CP implement), and a typically thorough chapter on Australia contributed by our old friend, antipodean CP researcher Dean Clarke. In each case there is a page or two of background information on the (former) corporal punishment situation in the country concerned.
For each kind of strap listed and pictured, the dimensions are given, years of production, and estimated value at auction or from dealers if you want to buy a genuine used one today. It is evident that, since school corporal punishment was declared illegal in most of the countries covered, such of these items as remain in existence fetch in many cases a high price from collectors: some rare examples run to many hundreds of dollars.
For that very reason there are also fakes and forgeries around, and a section of the book warns against these and how to tell the real thing from the fraudulent impostor.
The book is remarkably well-produced, and it is obvious that a great deal of care has been taken over its compilation. While perhaps aimed above all at those who are interested in collecting these objects, it is also of much interest to non-collectors who are students of the history of CP.