When it came to restraining outlaws and criminals, nothing was more useful than a trusty set of handcuffs. Lord knows the old west saw more than its share of the criminal element due to lawmen being few and far between.
The ratio was probably something like 1 to 500, especially in the less settled regions. Like Alaska.
This first image was what they would’ve had universally here in the U.S. back in those days.
Some of these would’ve been very tortuous. But then, criminals needed a deterrent of some sort and still do.
These were downright barbaric. I pity anyone who had their wrists inserted into these. Oh my dear Lord!
And this last pair looks really strange but they were extremely cruel. The length was made of intertwined wire or other stiff material. They were drawn tightly around the wrist, either one or both, and held by a man of the law. If the lawman wanted to inflict excruciating pain, he would twist until the wire cut into the lawbreaker’s flesh. Or he could yank.
Then when they GOT you to the jail, things went from bad to worse.
As you can see punishment wasn’t something they took lightly back then. And yet, they had an abundance of crime. Almost the same as it is today. Our prisons are full.
What is your favorite lawman or outlaw in a book or on the screen?
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I live in the Texas Panhandle where we love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!