United States Patent Office, { November 14, 1857. j On appeal to the Commissioner from the decision of the Examiner, rejecting the application of John McLarty for Letters Patent foi' an improved " policeman's club." The model of the " club" on file is twelve inches long, is round, and about an inch and a quarter in diameter. It has a smooth and polished surface, and resembles the baton generally borne by police and other officers. In practical use it would be lengthened, and would, no doubt, in accordance with the views of the inventor, generally take the form of an ordinary walking cane. Its exterior gives no indication of its real character or capabilities. Its barrel is hollowed, and within it is an in-genicais mechanism connected with four longitudinal rows of " spurs or lancets," which lie concealed in the tube. On touching a spring, these lancets leap from their hiding-places, and through them, by a single wrench of the weapon, a most fearful mutilation is inflicted on the hand of any adversary that may have grasped it. In the technics of street rencounters, it may then be " clubbed," and its lancets made to bury themselves, at will, in the head and body of the victim. Its operation must prove as instantaneous as it would be irresistible. The professed object of the inventor, in fashioning this club, was to supply what he states has long been a desideratum, to wit: a weapon not deadly—dispensing with the necessity of a resort to pistols—which policemen might use effectively, but which could not be wrested from them by the rowdies and malefactors with whom their official duties might bring them into conflict. There are on file the depositions of the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of "the New York City Police, fortified by the ceitifi-cates of fifteen members of the corps, all of whom concur in -stating that this club will accomplish the end proposed by the inventor. ! They also declare, most emphatically, that they regard it as an important and valuable improvement; and a part of them express the opinion that it is not only harmless, but hu- mane. These views have been carefully examined and considered, but they have not seemed the less startling, because of the sincerity with which they are unquestionably entertained. They present a strange, if not a melancholy illustration of the power of professional prejudice over the higher convictions and gentler impulses of our nature. The purpose sought to be attained by the inventor— ! the safety of the conservators of the public ! peace, and their triumph in contests with lawless men—is one which must command j the approbation of all good citizens ; but even I this end may become unhallowed, from the means employed to attain it. The law, happily, enjoys a wider range of vision than | that which these witnesses seem to have allowed themselves ; and while it would gladlj secure the protection of all, it unhesitatingly recognizes the fact that it has the charge oi interests, social and political, compared witl which, even the safety of policemen is but as the dust of the balance. Justice to the inventor demands the admission that the mechanism of this miniature infernal machine displays sufficient novelty tc support a patent. The law, however, in it; wisdom, has declared that something bey one mere novelty must be established before patent can issue. The invention must no' only be new, but it must be important anc useful. It should be distinctly stated at th threshold of the inquiry, that this instrument with a view of mitigating that abhorrenc* with which the over-humane might regard it disclaims all designs upon human life, am moderates its ambition in the drama of blood to the more humble work of mayhem anc laceration. Thus operating, the testimony oi file shows that it would be eminently usefu ) policemen. Conceding this assumption, it is till obvious that this is too limited a measure f utility to satisfy the requirements of the iw. An invention to be patentable must not e useful to the few, with a chance of being ernicious to the many, but it must clearly ppear that in view of the interests of the whole ommunity, the good resulting from it would ecidedly preponderate over the evil. If the fficers of public justice, and those law-abiding itizens who love peace and pursue it, could ie induced to defile themselves with this in-trument, and could its use be restricted to uch, it might be comparatively harmless; ut when it passes from the workshop of the aechanic who has fashioned it, it is manifest-y beyond the control of the government, and vill find its way into the service of the brawl-ng profligate, as certainly as the stiletto seeks he belt of the bravo. Its manufacture and listribution through society, under the expec-ation that good would result therefrom, would e an act of folly, equaled only by that of strewing our pathway with thorns, in the de-usive trust that they would bud and blossom nto flowers at our approach. It is barbarous n its every characteristic, and is as rtpugnant ;o the genius of our institutions, and to the norality of that faith in whose shining footprints our legislation strives to follow, as is ;he scalping-knife of the border savage. As national war is one of those scourges to rvhich every country is exposed, it is fully within the scope of an enlightened public policy to encourage the manufacture of weapons for its efficient prosecution. But private war—the rude and sanguinary conflict of members of the same community with each Dther—stands upon an entirely different footing. It is everywhere denounced under heavy penalties, so that the blow can only be justified when it has been stricken in self-defence. This plainly-marked distinction determines the character of the weapon whose manufacture can claim the fostering care of the government. There can be no difficulty in deciding to which class the-one under consideration belongs. It puts forth no pretensions to rank as an instrument of national warfare. In this higher walk of human carnage it would be as Lame and impotent as would be an ordinary squirt in the presence of a conflagration. Nor is there any mechanical pursuit in which it could possibly be employed, nor any household or personal want to which it could possibly minister. It is, intrinsically, in its inception, and consummation and aim, a weapon of ferocious personal conflict, whose function is that of brutal mutilation. To bring it, then, within the range of the principle laid down, it must be shown that however cruel may be its mode of operation, yet from its structure and the manner in which it will be wielded, its mission upon the arena will be that of self-defense. Can this be done ? In the first place, its deceptive form, quieting all apprehension, incites him who wears it to assaults upon others, by securing to him the advantages of a perpetual ambuscade. On the other hand, for the same reason, instead of repelling, it tends rather to invite attacks from others, by falsely presenting to them a seemingly unarmed front. When to this is added the consideration that disguise is ever a stratagem oi the aggressor, and that he who, in good faith, seeks only his own defense, practices no concealment, we are forced to the conclusion that this policeman's club would be most generally wielded by men of violence and crime, and would play the part rather of the assailant than of the assailed. The fact that it could he used for purposes of defense does not meet the stern exactions of the principle to which I have adverted. In determining the morality and policy of encouraging the fabrication of a weapon, the inquiry is not what use might be made of it by officers and law-abiding citizens, but to what purpose, in view of its peculiar characteristics, would it most probably and most generally be applied. The government of almost every civilized people has striven, with painful anxiety, tc repress the habit of wearing concealed weapons, With none of the frankness which distinguishes true courage, it is a usage whose fruits have been evil, and altogether evil, and which has written its own sad history in the blood of some of the purest and noblest men of the times. But of all concealed weapons, the concealment of this is the most cunning and complete. In its spirit it is not merely unmanly, but skulking, and shocks, by the meanness of its cowardice, not only the chivalry, but the civilization of the age. With an inoffensive form, its polished yet simple exterior seems radiant with the smile of peace-—but it is a smile destined to prove but the dagger's gleam before it stabs, for all who trust it. No deceit could be more subtle or profound than the crouching of its lurking spear points, which display, in the suddenness of their spring, the mingled ferocity of the tiger and the treachery of the kiss of Judas. Whether viewed as a weapon of offense or of defense, it is adapted to the hands only of the most dissolute and the most dastardly, and evidently belongs to the same class with the slung shot of the burglar and the brazen knuckle of the political ruiian. The national honor would not be more tarnished by granting a patent for the one than for the other. Let the application be rejected. J. HOLT, Commissioner. [The aim of the laws of every civilized country is to protect the mass, the majority, who are peace-loving, honest citizens, from the attacks of the murderer, the burglar, the rowdy and ruffian, by arresting and punishing such persons, and by the example of their punishment preventing others from committing the same crimes. Means must be adapted to the ends contemplated by the law, and if, in the attempts which are made to enforce it, deficiencies are discovered, it is the part of true wisdom and true humanity to seek out the proper remedy, and vigorously apply it. A mock philanthropy, in some instances, seems to have misunderstood this position, and so executed the law as to have brought it into abject contempt. Crime and rowdyism are ever present, as a kind of parasitic fungus on the otherwise healthy plant of civilization, and as a check to this, to prevent it tainting the whole tree, we are compelled to adopt the protective agency of a police force and a formulary of justice, by and through which society may demonstrate its repugnance, and award a sentence for every crime committed. These common principles of social and political economy are by every one admitted, and are the foundation-stone of all criminal jurisdiction. The judges of our courts are specially provided with a staff of men, adequate to protect them while in the exercise of their high functions; and the most summary measures would be taken, should there be necessity, to defend their persons from assault. Should not, then, the policeman while in the exercise of his functions, surrounded by, and brought in bodily contact with, the worst of characters, be provided with a potent means for his own defense ?—both judge and policemen being but officers for the enforcement of the law. This being the case, it is the duty of every citizen and all branches of government to grant their protection and fostering care to any instrument, concealed or open, to any device, innocent or cunning, that can (with due regard to the safety of the people) be practically demonstrated to be a protection and defense for the officers of the law. We do not, as Commissioner Holt, in his eloquent and chastely poetic report on the case of John McLarty's policeman's club, seems to imagine, advocate the providing of any man, or body of men, with offensive arms or armor—with methods and devices for the indiscriminate sacrifice of human life—such as the "stiletto of the bravo," or the " slung shot of the ruffian," instanced by the Commissioner, and which, in this city, are not conilned to ruffians, bravos and political partizans, for those weapons, with the addition of concealed firearms, are every day and hour carried through the streets of New York by honest and respectable citizens. Why is this ? It is be- ] cause garroters walk our streets, and fell men in the public places at noonday ; the public know that a policeman is no better armed than themselves; and the majority of those who gain their dishonest living by robbery and degradation, are able, when banded together, to wrest a policeman's club from his hand, and use it with terrible effect against j its lawful owner, and therefore the public feel that they must be prepared to defend themselves. One of the daily papers, a few days since, adopting the language of the Commissioner of Patents in reference to this club, published it as " a minature infernal machine ;" yet while we are engaged in writing this article, the same journal is before us, giving an account of two policemen in different parts of the city, on the same night, while engaged in the per-fDrmaneo of their duty, who had their clubs wrested from them,- and used with murderous effect against themselves. One of them is not expected to live, and the other is severely injured. These are common occurrences, and a remedy against their repetition is loudly called for, in the name of humanity. The cases referred to would never have occurred had the officers been provided with this " miniature infernal machine. Let us now take the Commissioner's report and test its correctness, as applied to the case under consideration—and we would here remark that the inventor is neither a ruffian, a bravo or Thug; we state this to correct a misapprehension on the part of some who have called upon us to obtain information in regard to the inventor and his supposed murderous weapon ; for his sole intention in endeavoring to obtain a patent was to control the manufacture, and to supply them only to such persons as would be authorized by law to possess such an instrument of defense. The Commissioner, with a manly humanity that does him credit, objects to the brutality of it. Now we deny its brutality, and say that a " single wrench of the weapon " would not create "a most fearful mutilation in the hands of the person who grasped it." We would show all kindness to the most depraved of our fellow men, but the depraved are not entitled to our first consideration; and although points about one-quarter of an inch long could not inflict "a fearful mutilation," they cause sufficient pain to induce the aggressor to relax his hold on an instrument not his, but in holding which lie is committing a great crime, in attempting to hinder an officer in the performance of his duty. The Commissioner allows there is sufficient novelty to entitle it to a patent, but that it is not useful; and novelty and utility must be clearly demonstrated in any article for which a patent is claimed. This is the key-note of the Cunnnis si oner's objection, and his whole report is but a series of objections to its utility. We are glad ho has taken this ground, and willingly meet his decision on its own premises. In direct but respectful opposition to the Commissioner, we declare it a useful invention, and by every law of precedent, the inventor is clearly entitled, in our judgment, to a patent. We are not sufficiently well posted in criminality and crime to question the opinions of the Chiefs of Police in this city and Boston, who have given in their written testimony declaring their opinion that it is a useful invention ; but we maintain that their opinion on this matter, deduced as it is from much practical experience, is of more value than that of tli3 Commissioner or our own. It is more to the interests of society that a dozen ruffians should get their hands scratched in doing an tin-lawful act, than that one policeman should suffer the slightest injury by being deprived of his club. That some such means as this are necessary, every one must allow, and what is necessary must be useful. If any one has any doubt of its utility, let him read the daily papers, and take cognizance of the outrages that are perpetrated, the assaults committed, the murders y accomplished in our cities, while the policemen L &re set at defiance, because so easily disarmed, % and placed at the tender mercies of a "band . of rowdies, bravos and political ruffians," who are in the habit of regarding policemen as their personal enemies, and treating them as such. But, says the report, Si it is n concealed weapon." Granted : so is the simple club when carried in the pocket; so is a Colt's revolver, when concealed about the person; so is a sword-cane, the most deceptive of all; so is a cane-gun, for which a patent has recently been granted. These three latter are killing concealed weapons of offense as well as defense ; and yet the government of nearly every enlightened country has granted patents for them, while in that country which we think is the most civilized of al], a patent is refused for a weapon that cannot seriously wound when used as a simple club ; for the part desired to be patented cannot be used when acting on the offensive, but is so constructed that the aggressor brings the punishment on himself, We do not approve of the system of carrying concealed weapons ; but when it becomes an absolute necessity so to do, we hold that svery man has a right to protect his own person and property in any manner which he thinks best, even to, the wearing of an anti-garrote collar, bristling all over with spikes, [t is compatible with the institutions of our country to protect the weak and preserve order, to enforce the laws, and punish evildoers ; and the national honor would be burnished, not tarnished, by giving a protective right to any instrument that will aid in doing this, and no officer of public justice will ever assert otherwise than that such would be done by McLarty's policeman's club.—EDS.