To: Members And Friends
NFB R&D Committee
From: T. V. Cranmer, Chairman
DATE: February 27, 1994
Subject: Cane tips
It is clear that this committee believes that it would be unwise to
enlarge the handle of our NFB cane to accommodate one or more cane
tips. This consensus will be reported to the president.
In his letter to Mr. Maurer, Amirr referred to the screw cap on the
cane. This suggests that he uses a collapsible model. If that is
the case, making room to store spare tips in the cane handle would
pose entirely different mechanical considerations than would be
followed in the case of straight canes. Though the mechanics may
be different, I believe that our opinion on this matter would not
Examining the nether ends of my canes, I discovered that the tip on
the straight cane is just like the tip on the collapsible cane. Is
this justified? The rubber-like material that forms the conical
portion of the tip serves to wedge the bottom section of the cane
into the top (or handle) section, thus preventing the cane from
becoming extended when we would rather that it remain telescoped.
This function of the tip rubber is not required on straight canes.
I suspect that the impact impedance between the cane tip and the
pavement is affected by the rubber cushion hugging the bottom inch
of the cane. Some damping must occur as a result of this altered
coupling in the communication link between the hand of the traveler
and his path.
Is the diameter of the cane tip presently dictated by requirements
of the collapsible cane, by intuition, by research findings or
How is the choice of metal for the tip made? You guys know that
there are metals that are hard enough to out last any cane shaft,
and I might add, the life of most cane users. Why don't we make
cane tips from life-time metals?
Emerson Foulke has done a lot of research on canes. Emerson, what
do you know?
The rest of you guys, chime in.
Incidentally, I twisted and turned and tugged for the last ten
minutes and did not succeed in getting the tip off of my new NFB
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