Books for Handcuff Collectors


American Police Collectibles - Dark Lanterns and Other Curious Devices by Matthew G. Forte, 1998. Published by Turn of the Century Publishers this book covers a wide assortment of police equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The book contains an interesting selection of restraint advertisements and a large number of patent drawings. The book is particularly valuable for its coverage of mechanical and chain nippers.


American Police Collectibles - A Guide to Early Restraints, Clubs and Lanterns by Matthew G. Forte, 2000. Published by Turn of the Century Publishers this book nicely complements Forte's first book emphasizing restraints and other equipment that was actually made in quantity and thus is available to collectors. A comprehensive selection of early American handcuffs and nippers is presented along with a nice photograph of each. The text offers a nice documented history of American restraints. Photographs of many of the important inventors are included along with an assortment of vintage advertisements.


Manacles of the World by T. L. Gross, 1997. This privately published book presents a comprehensive discussion of vintage handcuffs and similar restraints. The book is nicely illustrated with photographs and contains a wealth of information. The emphasis is on American and European restraints. The book is particularly valuable for its coverage of European restraints, information difficult to find elsewhere.

Handcuff Patents by Ian McColl, 1997. This privately published book presents a collection of more than 100 patent drawings ranging from a shackle patented by J.C. Gardner in 1866 to modern handcuff patented by M.L. Allen in 1987. The selection is comprehensive, but somewhat random. Overall a very useful book for any serious handcuff collector.
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Modern Handcuff Secrets for Magicians by Dick Norman, 1957. Published by Lee Jacobs Productions this book is the classic work on handcuffs and their use by escape artists. Part I of the book presents a series of chapters devoted to a variety of different cuffs showing how they can be defeated by the trained magician. Part II presents a gallery of hand drawn pictures of a great variety of handcuffs.
New! A Guidebook to Handcuffs and Other Restraints of the World by Alex R. Nichols, 2002. Published by Kingscourt Publications this 300 page book is the most comprehensive guide to restraints ever published. An absolute must for the collector. The book is particularly strong in its coverage of British restraints.
Handcuffs and Other Restraints by Alex R. Nichols, 1997. Published by Kingscourt Publications this useful little book presents a nice discussion of the history of handcuffs and restraints as well as series of pictures of about fifty restraints ranging from from ancient to modern times.
How to Make Your Own Trick Handcuffs (And Use Them) by John Novak, 1980. Published by Lee Jacobs Productions this book is a great companion to the Dick Norman book. The book presents detailed directions for modifying handcuffs to turn them into "quick openers." One valuable addition to the book is an inventory and a series of pictures of Dick Norman's personal handcuff collection. Unfortunately the picture quality is terrible.
Tactical Handcuffing for Chain & Hinged-Style Handcuffs by John G. Peters, Jr. 1988. Published by Reliapon Police Products, Inc. this book is a mainly a guidebook for policemen describing the proper use of modern Hiatt handcuffs. The book is of interest to the collector, because it begins with a thirty page illustrated "history of restraints," including a compilation of patent drawings.
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Handcuffs U.S., Vol I by Carl Roper, 1977. Published by Desert Publications this small book presents patent drawings and short descriptions of 16 selected handcuffs plus patent drawings only of another 16. Interesting material, but no indication is given as to which cuffs were actually made, which ones never made it past the patent drawing. Although this book is presented as Vol 1, no Vol 2 has ever been published.
Roper 1
How to Open Handcuff Without Keys by Carl Roper, 1979. Published by Desert Publications this book does just what is says, it presents a detailed discussion of how to open handcuffs without keys. Detailed instructions for making and using shims and picks are presented. A detailed description of the Smith & Wesson Model 94 high security handcuff is presented.
Devices of Human Restraint by Steve Santini, 2001. Published in Canada by Titanic Concepts, Inc. the book covers a wide variety of restraints from the ancient to the modern including various custom models produced by the author himself. The book features large clear illustrations of each restraint along with a short description. Included is a short explanation of the locking mechanisms, a very useful feature. A few of the handcuffs included in the book are very unusual ones, not found in any of the other guidebooks. One very useful feature is an explanation of manufacturing terminology.
Collectors Guide - Handcuffs & Restraints by Don Stewart, 1993. Published by the Key Collectors International this book presents a catalog of the Stanley H. Smyth Collection of handcuffs and restraints. Each restraint is presented by a hand drawing, usually a short description. Estimated values for each handcuff are also given, but they are highly unrealistic, some common cuffs are given ridiculously high values, some rarities are valued much too low.
Thoughts and Advise on Handcuffs and Escapes by Prynce E. Wheeler, 1966. This privately printed booklet presents a reprint of an article that originally appear in the Linking Ring. Wheeler was a accomplished magician and escape artist and for many years a dealer to the escape artist community. This booklet presents an interesting personal account of escape artistry. Also included is a useful set of drawings of handcuff keys.
Stan Willis's Collection
Stan Willis' Guiness World Record Handcuff Collection by Stan Willis, 2004. This is a privately issued CD containing 1400 photographs of Stan Willis' amazing collection of handcuffs and related restaints. Over 900 different items are pictured. Some of them are quite rare. Stan's collection has been recognized as the world's largest by the Guiness World Records organization. The pictures are of high quality and very useful for indentification purposes. Also included are useful pictures of various old advertisements and catalog pages. This CD is a must for any serious collector.
The Great Houdini Handcuffs and Legirons by Dick Wresch, 1961. This privately published book is another classic, the first to present good photographs of handcuffs and related restraints. Dick Wresch was a lock smith who managed to buy a collection of restraints owned by Houdini. Each item is very nicely illustrated, but unfortunately many of them are identified incorrectly. Never-the-less the book is a valuable one containing pictures of several items that are shown no where else.

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