Walking stick palm ("Midyintil" Kentia monostachya)
It is not known who made the stick.
The following article appeared in The Queenslander newspaper on 26 May 1894. Widgen may have been another name for Kentia monostachya.
The Walking-stick Industry.
In her scrub vines and plants Queensland has an asset which, if not of any extraordinary value in itself, is worthy of consideration as one of the auxiliary industries that can help to establish the prosperity of the country. Walking sticks and umbrella handles of some sort or other are always in demand, and there is no end to the variety which may be disposed of in the English market. The local market is so small as to be scarcely worth cultivating at present, the deep-rooted prejudice against any thing of local production leaving the field entirely open to imported goods. It is a well known fact that hundreds of walking sticks are imported from England to Australia which grew in these colonies and twice made the long sea journey before they finally came into use. Sticks of a more or less ornamental or curious character are noticed every day in the bush, and every one of them has its market value, large or small. The bush settler may make a collection of such sticks, with a little knowledge of what to choose and what to reject, which should bring him in a few pounds every year with a very slight expenditure of time and trouble. It should be remembered, however, that firewood is not wanted. Already the London manufacturers of walking sticks and umbrellas have had some dealings with Australia, and a considerable quantity of one or two varieties found commonly in Queensland has been sold, notably the widgen and lawyer canes. Both of these, as is well known, are quite plentiful in our scrubs, although in the more easily accessible places the former has been almost exterminated. This has un fortunately gone out of fashion in England for the present, but will probably have its turn again before long. The lawyer cane failed to meet with any great success. There should, however, be numbers of other sticks in the scrubs which would be suitable for either walking sticks or umbrella handles; it is essential that each stick should have some peculiarity which would prevent it being reckoned only as firewood, and sold as such. The present is a favourable time for the introduction of new varieties, as the staple sticks now in use have had their day, and the trade would be glad to have something new. The Department of Agriculture of New South Wales has taken the matter up, and is endeavouring to encourage the establishment of the "stick" industry. In reply to_ a request for information sent by Mr J. H Maiden, the Government Botanist of that colony, Messrs. Henry Howell and Co., of London, the largest English firm in the walking stick and umbrella handle trade, have applied the following points to be observed in collecting raw sticks, canes, &c:Ā? The total length should not be less than 42in., end to end, but if possible they should be 48in. The best sizes are of the diameter of Ā½in. to lin., measured about midway; they should not be larger than lĀ¼in. in diameter. It is indispensable that the diameter should gradually diminish from the root or handle to the point, so that the stick is not " top-heavy." It is always better, when possible, to send sticks with some kind of handle; if the plant be pulled up the root should be left quite rough and untrimmed; if a branch be out off a part of the parent branch should be left on to form a knob or orutoh handle. Sticks without handles can be used, especially if they are nicely grown, and have any peculiarity of structure or colourĀ?but if there is any handle, however small, it should not be out off. Young saplings of the different kinds of palms, bamboos, &c, &c, should always have the root left on. Occasionally, the form of the root or handle part is attractive, while the stick itself is weak and defective; in such Cases the handles only should be sent, and they should measure from 15in. to 18in. in length. In sending specimens of new sticks it is better to send only small quantities, say, one or two dozens of each kind ; then, if approved, further quantities can be asked for. Specimens of anything remarkable for form or colour, whether in the roots or stems of woody, herbaceous, or reedy structures should be sent, as sometimes the most unlikely things are found to possess value for use either as umbrella handles or walking sticks. Details as to quantity to be procured, prices, &c., should be sent, if possible. In the letter conveying this information Messrs. Howell and Co. state that they would like specimens of every kind of palm which can be obtained in Australia, also anything of a herbaceous character having, when dry, sufficient rigidity to support a sunshade. In addition, any wood which possesses any kind of " figure" on the surface of the bark or on the wood immediately under the bark. Small saplings of the Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) are supplied by Algeria, but none from Australia. There is no reason why Australia should not command the market for this variety at least.
(This information was obtained from http://trove.nla.gov.au website)