Autofold Cane (USA), 1980s
This is a Autofold cane.
For the blind or those with low vision, a white cane became a simple yet sophisticated means for observing and traversing terrain, serving as a mechanical analog to echolocation employed by other species. Such canes convey essential information about ground surface, including solidity, moisture, and changes in texture. Feedback from the tip is essential for ascertaining what is unfolding underfoot: It can pick up the raised dots at the edge of a train platform, or the sound of a tap may indicate transition from concrete to gravel, allowing users to act accordingly. White canes make a statement, too. Long, rigid canes assert one’s presence, producing a distinctive tapping sound, while folding or telescoping canes such as this example are useful when the user wishes not to attract attention.
It is credited
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 306619.10.
Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.
Its dimensions are
L x W (open inc. cord): 107.3 x 2.5 cm (42 1/4 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (folded): 10.5 × 27.3 × 2.5 cm (4 1/8 in. × 10 3/4 in. × 1 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.